The lightweight main card bout between Matt Frevola and Ottman Azaitar has been removed from the UFC 257 card.
UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik, serving as announcer for Friday morning’s official weigh-in in Abu Dhabi, announced the news just prior to Frevola hitting the scale. Although he weighed in successfully at 155.5lbs, Frevola will be serving as a backup fighter only.
It a statement released to their official website, the promotion later confirmed that the middleweight bout between Andrew Sanchez and Makhmud Muradov would move up to the main card in place of Frevola vs. Azaitar.
No reason was given for the removal of Azaitar from Saturday’s event.
Azaitar, 30, fighting out of Cologne, Germany, has put together an perfect 13-0 record thus far in his professional career. He was looking for win number three inside the UFC octagon, after earning Performance of the Night bonuses in his first two fights with the promotion.
Frevola (8-1-1), also 30, has won his last two bouts, against Jalin Turner and Luis Pena.
The UFC 257 card moves forward with 11 fights due to the loss of Frevola vs. Azaitar. The adjusted start time sees the early prelims get underway at 7PM ET.
UFC 257: McGregor vs. Poirier 2
Main Card (PPV)
Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler
Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas
Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Muradov
Preliminary card (ESPN / ESPN+ / TSN)
Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Brad Tavares vs. Antônio Carlos Júnior
Julianna Peña vs. Sara McMann
Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Marcin Prachnio
Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Movsar Evloev vs. Nik Lentz
Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Update, 9:15AM ET: In a wild turn of events, Frevola will now face off with Arman Tsarukyan, whose opponent Nasrat Haqparast did not weigh in Friday. TSN was first to report the news.