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Joao Paulo Rodrigues removed from Babilon MMA fight over health concerns

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Brazilian featherweight veteran Joao Paulo Rodrigues will no longer fight Saturday in Poland.
Photo via Rodrigues’ Instagram.

Polish mixed martial arts promotion Babilon MMA has removed Joao Paulo Rodrigues from Saturday’s card in Wieliczka, Poland, MMA Fighting has confirmed following reports from local outlets.

Longtime Brazilian featherweight veteran Rodrigues suffered two knockout losses in 13 days in Europe in late September. Twenty-three days later, MMA Fighting became aware that Rodrigues was already booked to fight again on Oct. 26, matched up against 7-0 knockout artist Krzysztof Gutowski at Babilon MMA 10.

Two days after the report, Babilon MMA decided to remove Rodrigues from the card.

Speaking with Polish website Onet, Babilon MMA’s Tomasz Babilonski said he “didn’t know Rodrigues had such problems” in September, claiming he only found out about those issues from the media on Wednesday. As a result, they decided to pull the plug on the bout and look for another opponent for Gutowski.

Babilonski told the Polish outlet that the promotion would pay for Rodrigues’ flight and accommodation. Babilonski did not respond multiple requests for comments.

“Rodrigues will not perform at the show,” Babilonski said, “but we are trying to save the fight and we will get a rival for Gutowski because he has worked hard for three months.”

Despite the multiple articles on Rodrigues’ recent stretch in the sport with multiple knockout losses in a short period of time, Babilonski blamed the media for the situation, saying that MMA Fighting “could have informed us earlier, and not wait for the last minute to use it against us.”