An illness has forced flyweight Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff out of her Cage Warriors title bout with Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton. Gaff and Sexton were set to face off for the promotion’s inaugural 125-pound women’s title at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 49 on October 27th in Wales.
In an unprecedented move, both fighters enrolled in Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug testing leading up to the fight. As a result of costs incurred from the testing, coupled with growing frustrations about steroid use in MMA, Sexton announced that she plans to walk away from the sport.
Gaff (10-4-1) and Sexton (13-2-0) are currently ranked as the top two female flyweights in MMA and the CWFC 49 title bout was set to determine the undisputed leader of the division. Feeling that she was nearing the end of her storied career, Sexton pushed for the use of VADA testing for the fight to ensure that both competitors would be on a level playing field. Gaff accepted and the fighters enrolled in the stringent testing, which consists of random blood and urine tests for eight weeks prior to a fight.
The VADA testing did not come without a hefty price tag, however, and the total costs were estimated at $3000 per fighter. Donations, including a sizable contribution from MMAjunkie.com columnist Dr. Johnny Benjamin, helped to offset some of the costs. However, Sexton estimates that she had roughly $6400 invested in training and the VADA testing for the now-cancelled fight. She sees PED use as a significant problem in MMA, including among women, and took to Twitter to express her frustrations following the bout’s cancellation today.
“Here’s my bottom line. Female MMA has a drug problem. I’m not interested in taking steroids. Until something changes, I’m out!” Sexton said. She further stated that she would still be open to facing Gaff if the costs of VADA testing were covered for a rescheduled bout, but otherwise plans to walk away from the sport.
The remainder of the Cage Warriors 49 card will proceed as planned next Saturday. The event takes place at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Wales, and is headlined by a welterweight bout between Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred and Bruno “B.C.” Carvalho.
(Photo Credit: nyheter24.se)