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NJACB tried to prevent Houston Alexander from fighting Silva one hour before fight at UFC 78

This is probably a tidbit of information that not many people know about. From Yahoo! Sports:

A member of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board walked into the room and told Alexander and Doyle the fight was off because Alexander only has one kidney.

Alexander had donated a kidney to one of his daughters several years earlier, but he’d always passed his pre-fight physicals with no problems. But New Jersey, fearful of a lawsuit should something untoward happen, opted at the last minute to prevent Alexander from fighting.

The reasoning was that with just one kidney, he wouldn’t have a backup if something happened to it. Manager Monte Cox, UFC president Dana White and Doyle were pleading Alexander’s case.

According to the report, this was roughly an hour before the fight. Wouldn’t something like this have been caught during the proper medical procedures that take place before the event even happens? How does the New Jersey Athletic Control Board not know that Alexander only has one kidney? Or if they did know, why wait until the very last minute to stop the fight from happening?

Obviously Dana White and Co. got their way and Silva thrashed Houston that night, but to throw that at a fighter just an hour before the fight is supposed to happen is a little unprofessional in my opinion. If the NJACB knew that Alexander only had one kidney, they should have addressed the situation when that information was posed to them, not an hour before the fight.

UPDATE: click for rebuttal from NJACB’s Nick Lembo 

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    The Ultimate Head Game! Conspiracy!

    Or not, but this is a great reminder that athletic commissions are largely political appointments, and if there’s one that politics always accomlish, no matter if it’s in sports, work, family or government- politics is always good for ineptitude and distraction.

    The NJAC probably thought it was “Mixed Marital Arts” and wanted to avoid protests over the sanctity of marriage and inter – racial relationships.
    NJAC: “We didn’t know there would be fighting . . . that can be dangerous. We should learn to read.”


    Did they issue a medical suspension after the fight prohibiting Alexander from fighting in NJ until he secures a second kidney? Will other fighters in the future be required to furnish a third in the event of an emergency?


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  • woooburn says:

    wow. that’s pretty unprofessional, if it did go down like that.

    alexander seemed somewhat timid, and less ferocious in that fight, but unfortunately, i think the outcome would have been the same regardless. hopefully he can bounce back against irvin. it’s hard not to root for the guy.

    do you happen to know his contract status? i’ve read that after the jardine fight, he signed a three fight deal. should he lose to irvin, i wonder what will happen. then again, maybe he’s already re-signed and it hasn’t been reported yet.

    not very likely, but i wouldn’t mind seeing him “k.d.” the rhino, in the wec, if he beats brian stann.

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  • cyphron says:

    They should also prevent fighters for only having one heart. What if you lose that heart? Oh wait… hmm… nevermind.

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  • Gygax says:

    This is no surprise. Earlier that very week, the moron NJ Attorney General fired one of the most respected athletic commissioners in the country, Larry Hazzard. The guy is a legend and was partly responsible for recommending that the state start sanctioning MMA back in 2001, the first state to do so under their Unified Rules.

    Thus the NJACB was operating without a head during UFC 78 as a replacement had yet to be named.

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  • Dayzah says:

    I didnt think he was timid or less feroscious , he went after him and even choke slammed him at one point but then he got taken down , mounted and ktfo … he could have had 4 kidneys and the samething would have happened.

    Im betting Irvin does the same too him.. Or even better catch him with a flying knee ala T Martin.

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  • Evan says:

    I did a lot of reading about athletic commissions during the entire Sherk/Franca mess and I have now been left with the belief that those agencies are highly disorganized as well as dangerous.

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  • AJB says:

    It seems to me that athletic commissions always get themselves into trouble when they override the medical staff, as seems to be what happened here. Obviously, Alexander was cleared by trained medical professionals at his examination prior to the event, and the commission themselves decided – as politicians, rather than medical professionals – that they knew better on the night of the event. It mirrors how things went down with MMA being banned in Vancouver. The head doctor who advises the Vancouver Athletic Commission filed a report saying that MMA was reasonably safe and should be sanctioned. A week later, the VAC decides to stop sanctioning MMA because it’s too unsafe.

    How do these people get away with this crap?

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  • Brent says:

    Didn’t effect the bout – Alexander doesn’t have ground skills and was exposed.

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  • Kelvin says:

    Yea, Houston was gonna lose to Thiago regardless…however, he can KTFO of Irvin…or vice versa.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Adam missed the obvious headline: “Pissing contest over missing kidney”

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  • Jiu-Jitsu Guy says:

    I’m glad Houston lost, as he disrespected him two opponents before that after knocking them out. Win with dignity and don’t disrespect. You do that, I really want him to lose and glad he did.

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  • nick lembo says:

    i am sorry but the facts are not at all accurate in a story.

    i cannot discuss a medical situation involving a fighter.

    however, this story is plain bad reporting.

    it should be retracted.

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  • nick lembo says:

    sad that people here state opinions without knowing the facts.

    here’s a hint…….don’t believe everything you read.

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  • truth says:

    Nick Diaz. pride 33. the head of the Nevada athletic comission is there and later claims he could tell Nick Diaz was high during the fight. Why didn’t he step in and stop the fight ?, hmmm. Maybe this guy used his “sight beyond sight” to look into houston’s body, sees only one kidney and alerted his buddies the N.J. comission. :)

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  • Brent says:

    Maybe this guy used his “sight beyond sight”…

    Thunder, thunder, THUNDERCATS HO!

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  • MMAKansas says:

    Yeah… no conspiracy in my opinion simply because the ENTIRE hype for that fight was riding on the success of Houston, in other words Dana wanted him to win…. annnd he would have gotten his lunch eaten whether or not this would have happened.. Silva would have chuteboxed his arse back to where he came from regardless; Houston showed he has one trick, BUM RUSH and that’s all folks, if it doesn’t succeed, he loses period. Silva showed us he is the next Shogun/Wandy and is probably the most underated LHW right now in the division, (cause he’s Brazilian and doesn’t speak much English so he’s hard to promote to a rather ignorant crowd of Chuckhuggers).

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  • […] felt compelled to contact Five Ounces Of Pain because he first became aware of the accusation via a blog posting by senior writer Adam Morgan. While Lembo was not named specifically, he believes the accusation was directed at him because he […]

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  • […] and completely off his gameplan during that loss to the Brazilian. News recently broke that the NJACB tried to prevent Houston Alexander from fighting Tiago Silva one hour before fight at UFC 78 (due to Alexander having only one […]

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