“A sticky situation…”
By Jeremy Luchau
Most mixed martial arts fans are probably pretty excited about all the great shows that are coming up. Pick your poison really with one UFC after another, Strikeforce and the great shows like MFC, Legacy Fighting Championship and Titan Fighting Championship on HDNet.
I’m sure I could go on and on and on about all the great MMA programming out there and as a fan I would probably also include Tachi Palace Fights 10. As someone who promotes TPF and is writing this blog, I guess I will find ways to sneak it in.
But over the last week and a half, I really haven’t fielded much attention about the fight card for “Let The Chips Fall”, but more about the Isaac DeJesus/Russ Miura controversy, following DeJesus’ positive test for marijuana following his knockout win of Miura at TPF 9.
People always say that any media attention is good media attention, but in this case I kind of beg to differ. It seems like it’s honestly turned into an embarrassing situation for all parties, including Tachi Palace Fights.
No longer is the focus on all the great fights on the card and all the story lines there, but rather a suspension on a previous card and now an appending appeal of the outcome of the fight.
There is a heavy contingent of fan support for the former TPF Featherweight champ, and many are saying he was caught doing something that should be legal and did not affect his performance.
By no means do I condone what DeJesus did and for the record; a rule is a rule no matter how silly some may think it is. If it is broken, there should be consequences. DeJesus was aware of the rule, chose to ignore it and now will be punished for it, and rightly so.
I’m also not fully in favor of Miura’s camp disputing the loss and trying to overturn the victory.
The entire situation has been well-documented on several different MMA outlets. DeJesus first missed weight prior to the fight on May 6th and refused to cut the additional weight, citing that he had a staph infection leading up to the bout and couldn’t properly train for the fight. (Most people are suggesting he missed weight because he had the munchies, just some food for thought… no pun intended)
The staph infection was legit, actually. I was able to confirm this.
Under the circumstances, as a former fighter, I can see how a staph infection might make things difficult to make weight. BUT, missing weight is never acceptable at any time. The fight went on though after several hours of negotiations, because DeJesus initially didn’t want to fight a five-round title fight if he was going to be stripped of his title regardless of the outcome.
In the end, though, DeJesus made the right decision, fought the five-rounder, which he only needed two minutes, 52 seconds of round one to dispatch of Miura.
So the curse of the 145-pound title continued… the belt seems to have been marred in controversy since DeJesus won it, defeating Nam Pham in February 2010. DeJesus then lost two straight fights; the first a non-title fight affair against Rob McCullough, and then against Micah Miller, who missed weight.
With the victory, DeJesus vacated the title, but became the No. 1 contender and was set to fight August 5th against Eddie Yagin, but then came the suspension. He was replaced by Joe Soto and that brings us to present day.
I’m sure I missed a few details here and there, but overall I think people get what I’m trying to say.
We are all frustrated and hope the situation can just go away, but obviously it will not. DeJesus has been apologetic about the entire incident from missing weight to the suspension.
For the record, DeJesus has never been a problem, and in fact, he has been one of the easiest fighters to work with in regards to making weight, showing up on time for meetings, attending promotions, etc.
Contract negotiations is a different story… just saying. (Can you ‘LOL’ in a blog)
Miura has also been a great addition to our roster and has always showed true class to go along with his excellent skill set.
We are looking towards the future now, as DeJesus will serve his punishment.
Like I said early, we do not condone what he did. He broke the rules, missed weight and will be punished. He’s missed opportunities. But I do believe in second chances, and he will get that with us if he chooses to take it in the future.
Miura himself might be the one that’s actually been hit the hardest. He has had some serious mud slung on him the last few days with comments questioning his character and integrity. His manager Jason House openly said that the decision to appeal the decision was not ultimately Miura’s.
House said it was a “team” decision in which Miura had nothing to do with.
We will await the decision of a CSAC hearing to see if the decision will be changed to a “no contest”.
For now, though, I’d like to get back to the positives in MMA.
The great fights on the horizon.
The stacked 125-pound division.
The return of JOE SOTO…
So don’t text me about DeJesus or Miura.
“The Project Files” by Jeremy Luchau will be an ongoing weekly blog series here at ProMMAnow.com that will give readers an inside look into the life of an MMA promoter. It is part of our ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry.