A week ago, I interviewed Firas Zahabi following Fightquest 16. He spoke about his fighter Neil Sheppard‘s loss to Mick Dufort via guillotine.
He stated “unfortunately one of my fighters (Sheppard) broke his collar bone during an exchange and had to stop the fight.” He later added: “He broke his collar bone, he had to tap out, he had to stop.”
When I asked him what he thought had caused the injury, he answered: “I’m not sure, I think it’s when he took him down, and I think he jumped the guillotine, and it kind of accelerated the take down and slammed. That was the only impact I saw… I think it was during the double leg and the rolling and the guillotine… like when they hit the ground.”
I received the following email (excerpted below) from Mick Dufort’s coach Chris Deschatelets last Thursday in which he challenged Zahabi’s version of the events.
“I just listened to your interview and I do not know if you saw the fight or not , but there was a lot a not real statements by Firas…..
First thing , he did not stop the fight….Neil tapped out ! Nobody knew that he got injured until after the fight. Second , no disrespect to Neil but he was out classed from the start, there was no double leg takedown as Firas says, Mic got the choke and pulled guard to finish it, the only takedown was a sit down single by Mic, Neil got caught 3 times in a guillotine and tapped out in 1:32.
It really pisses me off that Firas is downplaying and straight out lying to save face , he is trying to take away from a 17 year old (two weeks ago) rising athlete, this kid has 2 years training mma, nothing else and he beat a 25 year old man who started when he was 9 and has 4 years with Firas ….This kid is a real machine with 2 stunning RNC victories of 23 sec and 40 sec ….this kid deserves notice and if Firas had any respect, he would have congratulated Mic on a good fight. we took that fight on 2 week’s notice on top of that.”
Re-listening to the interview a week later, I’m not sure which fighter Zahabi is referring to when he says “I think it’s when he took him down,” and “I think it was during the double leg and the rolling and the guillotine.”
Please have a listen to my Zahabi interview (linked above) yourself, and let me know what you think in the comment section below. I myself was distracted, trying to get my camera to work during that match and missed many of its finer details, and so I can’t say clearly who landed what other than the guillotines. If you were there and remember it, again, please share in the comment section.
Either way, an exciting fight. On a positive note, Sheppard later clarified his injury on his facebook page, stating: “I TORE THE MUSCLE OFF MY BONE BUT NO FRACTURE SO THAT’S GOOD NEWS!!” Good news indeed!
Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date with Montreal MMA News.