Just prior to weigh-in on Friday, UFC Vegas 14 lost a main card fight. After waiting to make his return over two years, Julian Marquez will need to wait a little longer. That’s after opponent Saparbek Safarov experienced weight cutting issues ahead of the fight, and could not weigh in.
UFC officials announced the news on Friday in a brief statement. “Due to weight management issues with Saparbeg Safarov, the middleweight bout between Safarov and Julian Marquez has been canceled from tomorrow’s event.”
Safarov (9-3) had previously competed at light heavyweight, but made his middleweight debut in March at UFC 248. He lost that fight via submission to Rodolfo Vieira. Overall, Safarov is 1-3 inside the UFC.
Marquez (7-2) joined the UFC off of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017, and went 1-1 to start his octagon career. However an injury to his right arm, suffered in his loss to Alessio de Chirico, put him on the shelf for an extended period. Enduring surgery and rehab, his highly anticipated return was expected to come Saturday.
With so little time left to fight night, and given coronavirus testing protocols, a replacement could not be brought in. No doubt a very frustrating turn of events for “The Cuban Missile Crisis.”
UFC Vegas 14 will move forward, with both Paul Felder and Rafael dos Anjos weighing in successfully on Friday.