Amidst widespread rumblings of promotional controversy, Che Mills' jump to the UFC finally seems official. According to reports, Mills is set to face "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 13 alum Chris Cope at UFC 138 on November 5th in Birmingham, England.
His representatives at Team Trojan FreeFighters tweeted the news Monday, per MMA Weekly: "Che Mills signs with the UFC, debut is at UFC 138 in Birmingham vs TUF semi finalist Chris Cope!!" Mills' manager, Paul Hennessy, confirmed the announcement later Monday afternoon.
Still, the signing remains mired in a bizarre sense of uncertainty due to conflicting statements from the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) of which Mills was formerly employed. According to BAMMA head of business development, Liam Fisher, "Che Mills is under contract to BAMMA and is scheduled to fight Joey Villasenor at BAMMA 7. Che has not been and will not be released by BAMMA."
In a strange game of back-and-forth, Hennessy disagreed with the notion, stating:
"I can confirm that Che Mills is not under contract to BAMMA, he does not have a promotional agreement with BAMMA, and has not signed a bout agreement for BAMMA 7.
"I can also confirm the Che Mills will not be fighting on BAMMA 7."
Mills (13-4) is currently on a four-fight win streak, including a nine-second knockout of Manuel Garcia. Chris Cope (5-1) was triumphant at his UFC debut in June, taking a unanimous decision over TUF-13 castmate Chuck O'Neil.
The updated UFC 138 fight card:
Middleweight: Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz
Bantamweight: Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barao
Lightweight: Paul Taylor vs. Anthony Njokuani
Welterweight: Thiago Alves vs. Papy Abedi
Welterweight: John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Lightweight: Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto
Featherweight: Jason Young vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Welterweight: Mark Scanlon vs. James Head
Bantamweight: Vaughan Lee vs. Chris Cariaso
Heavyweight: Philip De Fries vs. Oli Thompson
Welterweight: Che Mills vs. Chris Cope