UFC Vegas 18: Bad Luck Continues for Cody Stamann, Opponent Askar Askar Not Cleared to Fight

Cody Stamann UFC
Cody Stamann UFC DC weigh-in Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Cody Stamann has gone through a revolving door of opponents ahead of UFC Vegas 18. And on Fight Day, he’s lost another one — and his fight entirely.

The 31-year old bantamweight from Grand Rapids, Michigan was originally expected to face Merab Dvalishvili in December. That bout was pushed back to UFC Vegas 18 on Saturday, February 6. Today, to be exact. However, Dvalishvili withdrew, leading Andre Ewell to step in. A positive COVID-19 test from Ewell then forced him off the card (Ewell later provided a negative test, but UFC health and safety protocols require a ten day window following a positive test). Ewell was in turn replaced by Askar Askar (11-1), a promotional newcomer who took the bout on just a few days notice.

However, on Saturday, just hours away from the event kicking off, UFC officials announced that Askar had not been cleared to fight.

“Featherweight Aksar Askar has not been medically cleared to compete and subsequently his bout against Cody Stamann has been canceled from tonight’s event,” a statement provided by the promotion read. “He was replacing Andre Ewell, who was removed from his bout with Cody Stamann, due to COVID-19 protocols.”

Although both Stamann and Askar normally compete at bantamweight, the short-notice nature of the bout had it set for 145lbs.

Stamann (19-3-1) last competed in July, where he lost a unanimous decision against Jimmie Rivera, in a fight that was also contested at featherweight. The NCAA Division II wrestler recently told Cageside Press that he planned to return to the bantamweight division, and was hoping for a quick turnaround after UFC Vegas 18.

UFC Vegas 18 kicks off at approximately 5PM ET tonight, Saturday February 6. The main event features heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov throwing down.

The following bouts remain on the card:

Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov
Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar
Michael Johnson vs. Clay Guida
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush
Mike Rodríguez vs. Danilo Marques
Devonte Smith vs. Justin Jaynes
Karol Rosa vs. Joselyne Edwards
Molly McCann vs. Lara Procópio
Seung Woo Choi vs. Youssef Zalal
Timur Valiev vs. Martin Day
Ode’Osbourne vs. Jerome Rivera