Canada’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier finally has a date to tango after his UFC Orlando fight with Gilbert Burns fell through.
Just days after saying he was hoping to get on the UFC’s upcoming PPV card in Brooklyn, Canadian lightweight Olivier Aubin-Mercier has his wish. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. The fighter, whose UFC Orlando bout was scrapped when opponent Gilbert Burns came in extra heavy during fight week, had expressed surprise the UFC had rebooked Burns but not himself, noting he’d need money soon (‘OAM’ received compensation for the cancelled fight, but clearly not what he would have received had the fight gone forward). Now, he’s stepping in to replace Mairbek Taisumov at UFC 223 against Evan Dunham.
As previously announced by Taisumov himself on social media, the Russian-Austrian fighter was forced off the UFC 223 card as a result of VISA issues.
Disappointing news – My visa application for the USA is taking longer than my team and the UFC expected. The visa process is still ongoing albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. I am hoping that Sean Shelby will be able to find me a fight in Rio on May 12th and I hope to fight in the USA shortly. Thanks to Evan Dunham who accepted to fight me unlike many others from the Top 15. Wish you a good fight in Brooklyn and I'm ready to give you a fight either in Rio or once my visa run is done. #taisumov #berkut #berkutmma #ufc223
As a result, the door was opened for Aubin-Mercier (10-2). ‘The Quebec Kid’ has won three straight, against Thibault Gouti, Drew Dober, and most recently Tony Martin. Another win, and the TUF: Nations veteran could very well find himself inside the top fifteen at 155lbs.
Dunham announced the news via his official Twitter account. Cageside Press subsequently verified the bout.
— Evan Dunham (@evandunham155) March 9, 2018
Dunham (18–6–1) is undefeated in his past six fights. He will enter UFC 223 off a draw against Beneil Dariush at UFC 216. Prior to the draw, however, he won four straight unanimous decisions against the likes of Rick Glenn and Joe Lauzon, among others.
UFC 223 takes place April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.