The reason, a discharge from the Air Force stemming from a 2009 assault on his wife, as reported by Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter. Chope reportedly assaulted his ex-wife, threatening her with a knife, while the two were still married.
The UFC also released a statement to Bleacher Report in which it not only denounced Chope’s actions, but ensured that his opponent, Brandao, would be paid his show money and win money, “The UFC does not condone behavior of this nature whatsoever and Chope has been released from his contract … Brandao will receive both his show and win money for the bout.”
Brandao’s disclosed show money was $20,000 for his previous bout, meaning that he should walk away with a guaranteed $40,000 and will hopefully be able to make a quick turnaround given that he was in shape for Sunday’s fight. A tentative April date has been set for him to fight.
For Chope, he joins a short list of fighters who were cut from the promotion either just prior or on the day of their respective fights, for events unrelated to professional fighting. Most notably, UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva, a longtime fan favorite and former perennial contender, was released from the UFC after an incident involving his ex-wife and a former friend in which Silva brought a gun to the gym at which his friend managed.
Chope made this post on Facebook early Sunday, before his fight was cancelled:
I fight today. But I just want to make a small post about what has been brought up last night. I made some mistakes in my past. The incidents happened 5 years ago and I will live with them for the rest of my life. But I just want everyone to know the articles are being sensationalized right now and me and my ex wife have spoken about this and we would like everyone to know that we are friends now and have moved on and are different people and are just trying to be good parents to our daughter. She also made a post on her personal page she is allowing me to share. I will make a formal address to this issue after the fight, but I hope this is suffice until then.
Chope followed up with this post, after his fight was cancelled but before he was officially released from the promotion:
My fight has been canceled for a 5 year old mistake I made. I am truly sorry to all the fans and will do everything I can to make this right. I have spoken with my ex-wife on the phone and she supports what I am doing and together we will make a formal press release as soon as I get back to the USA on Wednesday.
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