Islam Makhachev says he never agreed to a UFC 233 fight with Francisco Trinaldo, who will now meet Alexander Hernandez at the January event.
More than a few people were surprised to see Islam Makhachev booked into a fight at UFC 233 with Francisco Trinaldo. Mostly because, when news broke just a few days back, there was still a question of his involvement with the chaos that followed UFC 229’s main event. Then, late yesterday, word got around that Makhachev was out of the bout. In his place, Alexander Hernandez stepped up to fight Trinaldo.
But what, exactly, had transpired, and why was Makhachev off the card? The fighter did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday, but Monday, gave his side of the story on social media.
Claiming the UFC made and cancelled the fight themselves, Makhachev said (via Google Translate) that “I didn’t sign any official papers. I plan to fight somewhere in February with a rival from the Top-15 as promised by Dana White.”
Makhachev (16-1) last fought at UFC Calgary in July, where he submitted Kajan Johnson via arm-bar. Trinaldo (23-6), aged 40, finished Evan Dunham with a knee to the body at UFC Sao Paulo in September.
Alexander Hernandez, meanwhile, is 10-1 as a pro, and has won his first two fights in the UFC. He’s coming off a win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier, also in Calgary.
UFC 233 takes place January 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.