Leslie Smith was going to be fighting Aspen Ladd on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night Atlantic City, but then Ladd missed weight and Smith opted not to fight her.
The interim president of Project Spearhead received both the show and win money for the canceled bout, which lead the fighter to believe that she is no longer under contract with the promotion. Smith also believes that the UFC paid what they did so the promotion could move on without her.
“It feels like the UFC is paying me off to go away,” Smith said to MMA Fighting.
If Smith is right and the fighter is a free agent, it would make the competitor free to negotiate with whatever promotion she chooses to do so.
Smith reveals that she was willing to fight Ladd if a contract extension was offered, but the UFC went in a different direction.
“I figured I had some leverage in the situation,” Smith said. “I told the UFC that I would be willing to take the fight as long as they extended my contract. They did not want to extend my contract. Instead, they said they would pay me my win bonus in addition to my show money and that would fulfill the fight on my contract and they would not be extending it.”
There has been no comment from the UFC at this time about the situation surrounding Smith.