Originally, Thiago Alves believed he could ride out Hurricane Irma, hop on a plane and fight Mike Perry this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 116.
But after going through the disaster with his family in Florida, the former UFC title contender realized there was no chance he could fight.
Alves pulled out of the bout with Perry just days before it was to go down in Pittsburgh. Perry went on to finish Alex Reyes in the co-main event.
In a statement provided to MMA Fighting, Alves explained his reasoning behind his decision:
“This was my first hurricane as a husband and father. The safety of my family it’s my duty and they will always come first! Still, i did make every attempt suggested by the UFC Travel Team to get to Pittsburgh besides taking a ‘Road Trip’ with my wife and my 13 months son when the whole state of FL was evacuating. All my flights continued to get cancelled from Friday am all the way to Tuesday 11 pm.
“After spending 6 hours at the airport with no real idea when I would make to the fight, having no electricity, sleeping in the gym with my family, and dealing with my dog dying from heat exhaustion… I decided to stay with my family and rebuild.
“I will never apologize for that, it’s not in my nature. I have too much love and respect for my Sport, Family, Team and the MMA Fans to go to war not being 100% ready. Me and the UFC are in great terms, they understand my decision. I’ve been with the company for 12 years.
“I’ve known Sean Shelby for a very long time and he knows I always come to fight. I trained for 16 weeks bc this fight was originally happening in August. If I don’t fight I don’t get paid, so nobody suffers but Me and My Family.
“I’m ready and will stay ready. I should be rebooked by December. My support to everyone that went through Hurricane Irma. My thoughts and prays are with you #RipTanky.”
Alves also posted on Twitter that he is ready to face Perry upon returning to action:
— Thiago Pitbull Alves (@ThiagoAlvesATT) September 17, 2017