A former UFC fighter alleges his ex-promoter had operated in shady fashion at the end of his run.
The fighter in question is Stevie Ray. Ray announced his retirement back in September 2020. At the time, Ray blamed knee injuries. As it turns out, there’s more than meets the eye.
During an interview with BJPenn.com, Ray claimed that he found the UFC’s business dealings to be so “shady” that he became fed up and decided to retire. It all started when the UFC told his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, that they were looking to cut Ray from his contract.
“I got another phone call by Ali and he said ‘look, we have to sign somewhere else, they are not giving us a choice.’ The plan was to say I was a free agent and was looking at other options, if not, the UFC will say they are cutting you because of the knee problems. I was devastated. Before they had released me, they wanted me to get my knee checked out. I went and did that and I got a heads up that they never expected me to get the clearance as that was an easy way for them to get rid of me. I see the doctor and he clears me to fight.
“Weeks go by and I get a fight on Fight Island against Mike Davis. I then got told to send them my visa details, which was strange and shady as Ali and the UFC knew I didn’t have a visa. I had some legal problems when I was younger so it takes me a while to get my visa, so I had to turn the fight down. After that, I got told I was released from the UFC. A few weeks go by, I was depressed, and then I just said ‘f**k it, I’m done with this.’ I’m coming off the biggest win of my career and this is how it ends in the UFC.”
Ray ended his pro MMA career with a record of 23-9. He hadn’t competed since October 2019. In that bout, he scored a majority decision victory over Michael Johnson. Ray went 7-4 under the UFC banner.