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Ashlee Evans-Smith opens up on the 'frustrating and emotional' cancelation of UFC London 

  • Ashlee Evans-Smith shares her feelings about UFC London being canceled.
  • Evans-Smith hopes to get compensated for risking her health and showing up in London
Anwesha Nag
CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 19 Mar 2020, 18:18 IST

Ashlee Evans-Smith
Ashlee Evans-Smith

Ashlee Evans-Smith was supposed to talk about her upcoming fight with Molly McCann every interview by now. Instead, she is sharing her story of heartbreak over the cancelation of UFC London.

Due to the massive outbreak of the Covid-19 virus worldwide, large gatherings have been banned by almost every government, leading to cancelation or postponement of many sporting events. The UK made no exception in taking such preventive measures either.

Appearing as a guest on MMA Fighting's live chat event A-side, Evans-Smith shared her experience with the entire incident. Turns out, she does not have any more answers than we do.


Ashlee Evans-Smith: We deserve the money at least

Evans-Smith could barely set up camp in London before she was told that the fight was canceled and she was to fly back to the United States immediately. But she put her health at stake to be there for the event, and she believes that she and the other fighters deserve to be compensated like Bellator did with their fighters.

"I haven’t heard anything from the UFC and the UFC as much money as they have, they’re not giving out money left and right for nothing... I think we deserve that money to say the least. I, personally, was going to go over there and risk my personal health. I was willing to risk getting quarantined to fight, to perform, to do my job for them. So I really hope that they compensate us."

Several of the UFC London bouts were relocated to the Cage Warriors 113 event, which is (as of this writing) still scheduled to take place on Friday, March 20. Although Evans-Smith did not get such a chance, she said that she would have done that "in a heartbeat".


Evans-Smith was the one to inform her opponent

After Evans-Smith was told to make her way back home, she recorded an Instagram story on her commute to the airport, updating her fans and followers about the situation. Turns out, her opponent Molly McCann found out about the cancelation first from her story on Instagram, and not from any official source.

When Evans-Smith heard about that, in a gesture of sportsmanship, she reached out to McCann and had a conversation about it.

"While I was driving—this is kind of sad—but I was driving to the airport and I see my opponent has posted a video and someone tagged me, and she was saying that she just watched my story on Instagram and that’s how she found out. So the UFC didn’t even contact her, so I though it would be nice of me to contact my opponent and say, ‘Look, I hear you don’t know anything. I’m gonna tell you what I know. That’s the least I can do. I think you deserve to know what I know.’ And she was like, ‘Thanks, mate.'"
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They talked about how upsetting it was and that they still want to have the fight once everything settles down.

Evans-Smith also admitted that she was frustrated with all the confusion about the fight. She had already left her weight-cutting diet when her manager told her to be ready and in weight. This was before UFC canceled all fights till April 11 and Dana White had assured that the event will take place somewhere else. Things have changed since then.

Evans-Smith has recovered from the initial "roller coaster of emotions" as she calls it, and has realized the significance of the bigger picture here.

"Now it's like, take a breath, and I realize this whole thing is so much bigger than me and my fight in the sport. Worldwide, people are dying. Yeah, I was upset at the time, but I’m just trying to be grateful that I’m healthy, no one I know is sick, knock on wood."
Published 19 Mar 2020, 18:18 IST
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