It’s hard to bring a guy like Joshua Van down, but Fury FC 71 opponent Tyler Bialecki did just that on November 6 when he pulled out of the flyweight-turned-catchweight bout.
With all the right eyes starting to shift his way, it was all falling into place for Van, who was looking to put on another impressive performance and push his record to 5-0…in 2022. Van’s made good on a short, but prolific, career already with a 6-1 professional record and 4-0 amateur record in less than two years.
No pain he’s felt in the training room or the cage appears to hurt him as bad as inactivity, so when Bialecki contacted him weeks out telling him there was going to be trouble with his weight cut, red flags were raised.
It appeared to be sorted out in social media DMs, but the closer to the fight it got, it became more and more apparent that Van might be watching Fury FC 71 from the sidelines.
“Two weeks into the fight he hit us up and said he couldn’t make 125,” Van said. “I basically told him I’ll fight him at 130, catchweight. He showed up overweight, 133 and we told him, ‘Ok, we’re still going to fight you.’ I want to whoop his a**. ‘I’m still going to fight you; just show up less than 142.’ He was at 146 the next morning. I told him I’m still going to fight him. ‘Just come, pull up, step on the scale,’ As long as he’s 150 I’ll still fight him. Then he don’t want to step on the scale so he don’t want to show up at the fight.”
Because of his eagerness to fight, Van never stays far from weight, meaning a catchweight bout would likely not be much less than a 15-pound allowance for opponents. He’s got the heart of a giant, but the frame of a bantamweight at his heaviest.
“I only walk around at 135, but what can I do?” Van asked. “I wanted that fight more than anything, so I was willing to fight him at 150, but he won’t come to the fight and step on the scale.”
After making multiple attempts to make the fight work, Van began thinking that Bialecki may just not want to fight him at all, but didn’t think he would make the trip from Arizona just to go home empty handed.
Putting himself in “promoter mode” Van approached Fury FC President Eric Garcia to vent about the mishap and even offer him financial advice.
“He’s from Arizona, so he’s got to come fly over here,” Van explained. “I told Eric [Garcia], ‘Hey, you better make him pay for his own flight.’ Eric is a cool dude, so I know he ain’t going to make him do that s***.”
With Fury FC 71 in the rearview, Van has lost out on his personal goal of fighting at least seven times in 2022. It’s unlikely he finds a way to squeeze two more fights in before the calendar turns over, and he attributes it solely to Bialecki. As a result of the bad blood, Van doesn’t see a world in which he offers or accepts a rematch and is instead looking ahead to Fury FC’s December show.
“Hopefully soon Eric will call me and give me another fight,” Van said. “I’m pissed, but whatever. We can’t force a m*****f****r to fight me, either. We talked last night, and we were talking about still getting a title shot by December 18. That’s not official, but that’s the talk. Hopefully I get the title by December 18.”
Title bouts don’t count as two fights, but gold around his waist sure would help him forget about the potential missing number in the W column.
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