UFC Fight Night 128: Barboza vs. Lee has been clouded by controversy. The headliner Kevin Lee missed weight at weighed in at a 157 pounds. Thankfully, Barboza still accepted the fight and the bout will now be contested at Catchweight. Similarly, another fighter missed weight, i.e. Aspen Ladd. However, her opponent Leslie Smith refused to fight her. Smith has since revealed that she is being forced by the UFC to leave the company.
Smith recently did an interview with MMA Fighting. During the interview she revealed why she refused to fight Ladd and also revealed that the UFC is paying her extra to leave the company. She also verbally slammed Ladd. Here’s what she had to say:
I considered fighting Aspen anyway, purely out of pride, and another chance to showcase my skills in the Octagon. But if I had done that, it would have been purely pride. And I would have been fighting for free since I was already getting paid the money. Fighting for free out of pride is everything that I have been speaking out against. It’s not everything — there’s more to it. The manipulation of the fighters through pride was something that I felt pretty strongly about. So I’m not fighting her, because I don’t feel like I should fight for free.
I figured I had some leverage in the situation, I told the UFC that I would be willing to take the fight as long as they extended my contract. They did not want to extend my contract. Instead, they said they would pay me my win bonus in addition to my show money and that would fulfil the fight on my contract and they would not be extending it.
It feels like the UFC is paying me off to go away.
That’s disrespectful, It’s super disrespectful. First off, she’s disrespecting all the other women who fight, because we all have periods, too, and we still make weight. We have our period before our fights, during our fights and after our fights, but we still make weight. We don’t blame it one anything. It’s shady. It’s not the first time that she hasn’t made weight.