Kevin Croom Steps Up on Short Notice Against Brian Kelleher at UFC Vegas 46

Kevin Croom, UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Kevin Croom reacts after his submission victory over Roosevelt Roberts in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This Saturday’s UFC Vegas 46 has been coming apart at the seams over the past couple of days.

Already having lost Michel Pereira vs. Muslim Salikhov Andre Fialho, plus Gabriel Benitez, the hits kept coming on Wednesday. Per a report by My MMA News, Saidyokub Kakhramonov has dropped out of the event.

No reason was given for Kakhramonov’s withdrawal. However, with the number of fights on the UFC Vegas 46 card dwindling, Kevin Croom has stepped up as a short-notice replacement. Croom’s involvement was first reported by MMA Fighting.

Croom (21-13, 1NC) will be looking for his first official win inside the octagon should all go according to plan this weekend. The fighter previously known as “The Hard Hitting Hillbilly” joined the UFC on short notice against Roosevelt Roberts in September 2020, earning a Performance of the Night bonus for his guillotine choke finish. However, a positive for marijuana on his drug test resulted in the win being overturned by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

After being hit with an $1800 fine and a short suspension, Croom returned last February, losing a unanimous decision to Alex Caceres. He has not fought since.

Kelleher (23-12) won a unanimous decision back in August against Domingo Pilarte. “Boom” was 1-1 overall in 2021, with a loss to Ricky Simon starting his year on a down note.

UFC Vegas 46 on Saturday, January 15, 2022 is currently set to move forward with ten fights:

Calvin Kattar vs. Giga Chikadze
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia
Brandon Royval vs. Rogério Bontorin
Jake Collier vs. Chase Sherman
Bill Algeo vs. Joanderson Brito
Jamie Pickett vs. Joseph Holmes
Court McGee vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
Charles Rosa vs. T.J. Brown
Dakota Bush vs. Viacheslav Borshchev
Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Croom