UFC fighter Julija Stoliarenko has apologized to her opponent and said she is “very upset” at not being allowed to compete following worrying scenes at her fight weigh-in, where she collapsed twice before being stretchered away.
Former Invicta FC champion Stoliarenko stood on the scales at the ceremony ahead of her bantamweight fight with Julia Avila, only to step shakily away from the podium as shocked officials rushed to help after she sank to the floor.
Having swiftly returned to her feet, the experienced Lithuanian jiu-jitsu specialist then collapsed for a second time, eventually being set on a stretcher and carried out.
“I want to explain what happened at the weigh-in,” said the 27-year-old after her bout was canceled, with the Nevada Athletic Commission declining to comment, according to UFC sources.
Speedy recovery fellow Julia. Your health comes first, hopefully we see each other at another date. Prayers sister. 🐼💜 https://t.co/hppjJ6IrkT
— Julia Avila (@RagingPandaMMA) March 19, 2021
“The problem wasn’t weight loss. In fact, it was one of the lightest weight races in my career.
“The kilograms went away quickly. The problem was, I put on the right weight too early
“A lot of time passed between this moment and the weighing, and my body was already at the limit of dehydration, so that was the point.”
‘Panda’ Avila said: “Speedy recovery, fellow Julia. Your health comes first and hopefully we see each other at another date. Prayers, sister.”
Stoliarenko insisted that she would have been ready to proceed. “I am very upset because I feel ready to fight,” she told her thousands of Instagram followers.
“I’m in good shape, I know I can fight. But the Athletic Commission did not allow me to fight, as they care about the fighters.
Unfortunately, this appears to be what the @ufc wants. Why else would they persist in making sure that the will and ability to dehydrate is the most important factor in our fight sport?
— Screenplaya (@Screenplaya) March 19, 2021
Kevin Holland showed up doing backflips and weigh-in 2 pounds lighter than the limit, how’s the UFC’s fault? This is a first and imo shows that Julija came in a bit heavier to fight week so the water drain was more dangerous for her
— Valencia (@SaulVv1) March 19, 2021
“Of course, the situation looked terrible, and the UFC also cares about their fighters.
“I just want to apologize to the UFC and Julia Avilla. I hope we meet in the future.
“I was so well prepared, I am in great shape. I am very sorry that I cannot demonstrate my degree of readiness.”