After originally being scheduled to face off this past March, SD Dumas and Abu Azaitar have a new date.
The middleweight pair are expected to compete as part of UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi this October, in a fight that finds Dumas (8-1) coming off a win, and Azaitar (14-3-1) returning to action for the first time since 2021.
Dumas confirmed the match-up on social media following an initial report by Alex Behunin.
After Azaitar pulled out of their initial booking, Contender Series vet Dumas went on to lose via submission to Josh Fremd back in March. He bounced back in his next fight, however, winning a unanimous decision over Cody Brundage at UFC on ABC 5 in June.
Azaitar, meanwhile, last competed March of 2021, losing to Canadian Marc-Andre Barriault. Prior to that, “Captain Morocco” picked up a win in his promotional debut against Vitor Miranda. That fight, however, came in 2018, meaning Azaitar has fought just twice in the past five years.
Part of that stems from a seven month USADA suspension in 2021. Part of that, as unlikely as it seems, is the UFC fighter (and his brother Ottman)’s increasing influence as members of the inner circle of the Moroccan king. A relationship that has reportedly led to turmoil and widening, divided political factions inside the kingdom situated on the Mediterranean sea.
UFC 294 takes place October 24, 2023 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event is expected to be headlined by an interim title fight/rematch between lightweight champ Islam Makhachev and former title-holder Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira.
The following match-ups have been reported for the card to date.
- Islam Makhachev (c) vs. Charles Oliveira — for the UFC lightweight championship
- Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev
- Nassourdine Imavov vs. Ikram Aliskerov
- Muhammad Mokaev vs. Tim Elliott
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker
- Abu Azaitar vs. SD Dumas