MMA

Fighter Cut From Tonight's UFC 257 Card After Severe Covid Breach

Fighter Cut From Tonight's UFC 257 Card After Severe Covid Breach

UFC 257 will take place later tonight in Abu Dhabi, with Conor McGregor's rematch against Dustin Poirier headlining the card.

There will be no shortage of intriguing bouts on show, with the likes of Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler also set to square off.

However, one fighter will be not be entering the octagon as scheduled.

Ottman Azaitar will not be taking part in his fight against Matt Frevola, with the Moroccan being thrown out of the event after a breach of the UFC's coronavirus rules.

All fighters and teams are part of a bubble in Abu Dhabi, with access to the outside world extremely limited. Azaitar apparently breached the rules by bringing an unauthorised person into the hotel.

Not only will he not be fighting tonight, but the 30-year old has also been let go by the UFC entirely.

Speaking to BT Sport, UFC President Dana White went into more detail on what exactly led to this decision.

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It's pretty amazing actually.

He and his team cut off their wristbands and gave them to someone outside the bubble, I don't even know how they did it.

That guy taped them and showed up here with a bag, went into a room and shimmied across four balconies, went into [Azaitar's] room, dropped the bag off, chenged his clothes and left.

When security tried to stop him, he wouldn't stop either way. It's bad.

He's gone, he's no longer a UFC fighter. He's not fighting tonight.

Boasting a professional record of 13-0, this is a huge blow to Azaitar's MMA career.

Matt Frevola will now instead fight faces Arman Tsarukyan in a 157-pound catchweight bout. Tsarukyan's originally scheduled opponent, Nasrat Haqparast, was previously forced to withdraw due to an illness.

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Gary Connaughton

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