Ottman Azaitar was removed from UFC 257 due to protocol violations (Updated)

Sep 7, 2019; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Ottman Azaitar (red gloves) fights Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC 242 at The Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The morning we saw some shuffling in tomorrow night’s UFC 257 card. Originally, Ottman Azaitar (13-0) was scheduled to take on Matt Frevola (8-1-1) on the PPV main card. However, we learned early this morning that the fight was scrapped. 

Originally, the assumption was that the fight was scrapped due to a weight cutting issue from Azaitar. Frevola still made the walk to the UFC 257 weigh-ins and he made weight successfully at 155.5 pounds.

With the Azaitar fight scrapped, the promotion shifted gears to get Frevola another fight. Lightweight Arman Tsarukyan (15-2) was scheduled to take on Nasrat Haqparast (12-3) tomorrow night. However, Haqparast came down with an illness and was pulled out.

The UFC has paired Frevola and Tsarukyan for a fight tomorrow night. A couple of hours after all this drama and we are learning more about what happened with Ottman Azaitar. Azaitar’s team posted an Instagram video of his tough weight cut just hours before weigh-ins.

For this reason, many believed it was an issue with his weight. However, the UFC has come out with a statement discussing why Azaitar was removed from tomorrow night’s card.

Their statement reads, “UFC is aware of a recent violation of the health and safety protocols involving Ottman Azaitar. As such, Azaitar has been removed from the safety zone and his upcoming bout against Matt Frevola has been canceled.”

What’s next for the UFC’s Azaitar?

One thing we know for sure is that the promotion takes their protocols extremely seriously. The rules that the UFC has in place are extremely strict and so far, fighters have done a good job of obeying the rules.

That of course changed this morning with Azaitar. Azaitar – Frevola was a very good fight for UFC 257 and now we will not get to see it due to health and safety violations from The Bulldozer.

Dana White announced that Ottman Azaitar has been cut from the promotion due to the violations. He told Farah Hannoun the news after this morning’s ceremonial weigh-ins.