The UFC 257 weigh-ins had a little drama on Friday. Early on, promotion officials announced that Ottman Azaitar was out of his fight with Matt Frevola. Then, in the final minutes of the weigh-in window, Arman Tsarukyan missed weight for his bout with Nasrat Haqparast — and Haqparast failed to weigh in at all.
TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter subsequently reported that Haqparast was out of the bout entirely. No reason was given for his withdrawal. UFC officials later confirmed that the fighter was out due to illness, the nature of which was not disclosed.
The added wrinkle to the story is that with Matt Frevola successfully weighing in as a backup fighter after Azaitar dropped out, the potential to book him against Tsarukyan remained. All of the fighters in question compete in the lightweight division.
Tsarukyan (15-2) headed into UFC 257 on the strength of a two-fight win streak, with victories over Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Davi Ramos. Overall, the Russian has posted a 2-1 record inside the UFC thus far. After missing weight Friday by 3lbs, the Russian was given an additional hour to hit the mark. His second result was better, but still over. Officially, Tsarukyan weighed in at 157lbs.
Haqparast (12-3) was 1-1 in his past two fights, with a loss to Drew Dober, but most recently, a win against Alexander Munoz. He later released a statement on social media regarding the cancellation.
Update, 9:15AM ET: Matt Frevola will indeed fight Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 257. TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter was also first to confirm that news.
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Matt Frevola is on for UFC 257 per sources.
Tsarukyan will forfeit 20% of his purse as a result of missing weight.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) January 22, 2021
Currently, the UFC 257 card breaks down as follows.
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 Matt Frevola 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 Zhumagulo