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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Wednesday's UFC on Fuel TV preliminary card was supposed to have one more fight for the crowd in Omaha, Neb. and watching on Facebook, but UFC newcomer Sean Loeffler suffered a nasty ankle injury while warming up for his fight with Buddy Roberts, forcing it to be a last minute scratch.
During the broadcast Loeffler was shown icing his severely swollen ankle backstage, mouthing apologies and saying he'd be back. On Thursday, Loeffler explained what happened.
"I was doing 'tuck jumps’ backstage," Loeffler said in comments released by his camp. "My foot got caught in a crack in the warm-up mat, and it rolled over and snapped in half. Trevor Wittman and Urijah Faber were there... the whole locker room heard it pop."
"Fortunately, the ankle’s not broken. It’s a 3rd degree fibula/tibia strain. There’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll have surgery, but we won’t know until after I get an MRI. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but Joe Silva has told me that I am 100% a UFC fighter, and that I’ll be back with them."
Loeffler will remain on the UFC's roster despite not fighting on Saturday, and he's even been paid his "show" money for Saturday's event.
"Yes, it’s true," Loeffler said. "I very much appreciate that. I’d like to thank Dana White, Joe Silva, and the rest of the UFC for standing by me through this. They paid me my show money even though I got injured. I appreciate that so much, and I won’t forget it. And to the fans, I will be back, better than ever, as soon as possible. I’m in the UFC to stay, and even though the ankle injury sucked, it shows that everything I do will always be memorable... ha."
He doesn't expect the UFC to keep Roberts on ice while he heals, so he's planning on making a his official debut against someone else later in the year. For now, he just hopes that the injury won't keep him out for too long.
Penick's Analysis: Last minute scratches like this are always especially disappointing for all involved. They made weight, they were prepared to fight, and then they didn't get the payoff of stepping into the cage. It was great of the UFC to pay Loeffler his show money, and it's in line with what they often will do in this situation. It was a freak accident, and it's something that could happen to anyone. Hopefully the injury doesn't wind up being majorly serious that would keep him out of action a really long time.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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