UFC 288 Loses Rafael Estevam vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov After One Fighter Had Already Made Weight

Zhalgas Zhumagulov, UFC
Zhalgas Zhumagulov, UFC Vegas 56 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

The UFC 288 card lost one fight on Thursday, and another on Friday morning with weigh-ins already underway.

Although flyweight Zhalgas Zhumagulov hit the scales and successfully made weight for his fight with Rafael Estevam, that fight has been scratched. Estevam never made it to the scale, and just past 9:30AM ET, promotion officials announced that the fight was off.

The cancellation came about “due to weight management issues” on the part Estevam.

Just yesterday, a bantamweight match-up between Daniel Santos and Johnny Munoz Jr. was lost due to an injury suffered by Santos. It’s been a rough 24 hours overall for the Newark, NJ-based UFC 288, as Joseph Holmes, a.k.a. “Ugly Man Joe,” announced just prior to Friday’s weigh-ins that he was heavy. Holmes hit the scale 3lbs over the middleweight limit, though his fight with Claudio Ribeiro will move forward. Holmes will forfeit 20% of his purse however.

Zhumagulov, meanwhile, just can’t catch a break. The Kazakh fighter briefly retired after a number of contentious decisions that didn’t go his way, but opted to return against Estevam, looking to snap a three-fight skid.

The undefeated Rafael Estevam was set to make his promotional debut in the fight. He won his way into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, improving his record to 11-0 in the process.

UFC 288, headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champ Aljamain Sterling and the returning Henry Cejudo, now moves forward with the following bouts:

  • Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Henry Cejudo — for the UFC bantamweight championship
  • Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns
  • Jéssica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan
  • Movsar Evloev vs. Diego Lopes
  • Kron Gracie vs. Charles Jourdain
  • Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola
  • Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Devin Clark
  • Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya
  • Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba
  • Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter
  • Phil Hawes vs. Ikram Aliskerov
  • Joseph Holmes vs. Claudio Ribeiro