In front of a packed house of rabid fight fans, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier would throw down for the third time Saturday at UFC 264.
On the opposite end of the card, however, a more understated affair had been expected. Hu Yaozong vs. Alen Amedovski didn’t exactly have fans burning with anticipation. Instead, it had all the makings of a loser-leaves-town match-up, with both men on two-fight skids and winless inside the octagon.
Yaozong’s 3-2 record as a pro certainly wasn’t helping his case either. But in the end, the fight would not happen, at least not at UFC 264. On Saturday, the bout was pulled by the promotion, the result of COVID-19 protocols.
UFC officials announced the news roughly an hour out from the card’s anticipated start time.
“Due to COVID-19 protocols, the middleweight bout between Hu Yaozong and Alen Amedovski is canceled from tonight’s card,” a statement posted on the UFC’s official website read.
No explanation was given for exactly what COVID-19 protocol lead to the cancellation. A positive test by a fighter, one of their corners, or potential exposure to someone infected with SARS-CoV-2 could be the potential culprit.
There is no word on whether the UFC will seek to reschedule the bout for an upcoming event, or scrap it entirely.
UFC 264 is set to move forward with the following line-up:
Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
Greg Hardy vs. Tai Tuivasa
Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Kris Moutinho vs. Sean O’Malley
Carlos Condit vs. Max Griffin
Michel Pereira vs. Niko Price
Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Topuria
Dricus Du Plessis vs. Trevin Giles
Jessica Eye vs. Jennifer Maia
Omari Akhmedov vs. Brad Tavares
Jerome Rivera vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
The main card airs live on PPV (via ESPN+ exclusively in the U.S.) following online and televised prelims.