UFC Stockholm took a huge hit two days before the event when Ilir Latifi pulled out of his co-main event bout against Volkan Oezdemir with a back injury.
A replacement opponent for Volkan Oezdemir will not be booked and the fight has been removed from the card.
Ilir Latifi was looking to bounce back from a loss to Corey Anderson that snapped a two-fight winning streak. Latifi came into the fight ranked ninth in the division with wins over Ovince Saint Preux and Tyson Pedro.
Volkan Oezdemir was also coming off a loss, which was a controversial decision against Dominick Reyes. The split decision brought the Swiss fighter’s losing streak to three, with the other defeats coming to Anthony Smith and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. “No Time” earned a title shot after knocking out Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in a total of 70 seconds, but has not won since.
UFC Stockholm carries on with 12 fights, with the main event being a light heavyweight bout between the division’s last two title contenders, Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith. Another important 205-pound bout will take place as up-and-comer Aleksander Rakic battles Jimi Manuwa. The event starts at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday from Sweden’s Ericsson Globe.