Jessica Aguilar was pulled from a fight at UFC Utica due to a “potentially contagious medical issue,” according to a statement from the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) to MMA Fighting.
Aguilar, a UFC strawweight, was supposed to fight Jodie Esquibel on a card last Friday. But Aguilar had a “medical issue” and the bout was canceled by the commission not long before the scheduled bout, the UFC said at the time in a statement.
“Medical personnel identified a potentially contagious medical condition,” read the NYSAC statement, via New York State Department of State spokesperson Lee Park. “For the safety of the impacted fighter and her opponent, the fight was called off. UFC medical personnel were also consulted and concurred with the decision.”
The UFC declined comment on the matter via a spokesperson Monday.
Aguilar wrote Friday evening on social media that the commission pulled her from the fight due to chapped lips. She wrote she was cleared after weigh-ins by a dermatologist Thursday, but the commission still pulled the fight Friday.
“The commission had a concern regarding my lips and my use of chapstick during the physical exam prior to weigh-ins so they requested that I be cleared by a dermatologist,” Aguilar wrote on Instagram. “So right after weigh-ins the commission rush me to get clearance which I was granted by the dermatologist. But tonight, at the arena, the commission struck again and canceled the fight. You can’t reason with this commission, it kinda felted personal.”
Hey guys! Here’s a little update on the BS that went down today right before my fight. I am super disappointed and heartbroken, this is the second fight in a row canceled. I want to clear things up. The commission had a concern regarding my lips and my use of chapstick during the physical exam prior to weigh-ins so they requested that I be cleared by a dermatologist. So right after weigh-ins the commission rush me to get clearance which I was granted by the dermatologist. But tonight, at the arena, the commission struck again and canceled the fight. You can’t reason with this commission, it kinda felted personal. I am hopeful the @UFC will rebook our fight ASAP.
When asked about a doctor’s initial clearance of Aguilar, Park relayed that Aguilar’s condition “worsened overnight.”
“The reason the fight was canceled was because of the fighter’s condition on Friday,” Park wrote in an e-mail.
Aguilar’s manager Abe Kawa said Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that Aguilar has already gotten cleared by two tests and she got another one Monday for “peace of mind.”
“I do think that New York is going to get it right eventually,” Kawa said of the commission that just began regulating MMA in 2016. “I just think there’s certain people that are there right now that don’t understand what they’re doing, honestly. Not even the sport, just what they’re doing in general. It’s shameful, man. It’s shameful. Jessica didn’t deserve that. She deserved to be able to go out there and fight.”
Kawa said the UFC will “take care of” Aguilar financially, because this was her second straight bout canceled late.
“It is the worst way that I can think of, of telling a fighter they can’t fight,” Kawa said. “If you thought a fighter has something and you just sent them to a doctor that’s just a random doctor in the city that you’re in and you’re basically saying that doctor’s word is no longer good, I don’t know what we could have done to make this better.”