Vitor Belfort has contracted COVID-19, forcing him out of this weekend’s Misfits Boxing 3 card, where he was to face Hasim Rahman Jr.
In his place, however, will step another UFC alum, albeit one with lesser credentials: former NFL star and UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy.
Promotion officials announced the switch on Tuesday, after an MMA Fighting report revealing Belfort’s withdrawal from the bout. DAZN, which will broadcast the November 19 event in Austin, Texas, confirmed that Belfort had tested positive for COVID.
🚨 CARD UPDATE: GREG HARDY TO FACE HASIM RAHMAN JR 💥
— Misfits Boxing (@MisfitsBoxing) November 15, 2022
Belfort, a former UFC light heavyweight champion and tournament winner, was looking to follow up his beatdown of Evander Holyfield last year. That fight, an exhibition contest, was his first action in the sport since a 2006 pro match against Josemario Neves in Brazil.
Hardy, meanwhile, exited the UFC earlier this year, and made his boxing debut with a KO of Mike Cook last month. He now gets his sophomore outing in the sport on all of four days’ notice.
As for Rahman Jr., he was supposed to take part in a bout with Jake Paul in August at Madison Square Garden in New York, replacing Tommy Fury. However, the entire card was cancelled in late July, with Most Valuable Promotions, Paul’s promotion company, citing weight issues with Rahman, who had initially agreed to a cruiserweight match-up.
A 205lb catchweight for Paul vs. Rahman Jr. was briefly agreed to, prior to the event being called off. Rahman would go on to weigh in with despite the bout being cancelled, to show his weight had been under control— only to miss weight, coming in at 206.6lbs.