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

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.

Matt Frevola will now meet Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 257

UFC, Matt Frevola

There was a bit of drama this morning at the UFC 257 weigh-ins. To start out the morning, Jon Anik announced that the lightweight matchup between Matt Frevola (8-1-1) and Ottman Azaitar (13-0) was called off.

There still has been no update other than that from the UFC. Azaitar’s team posted a video on Instagram a few hours ago saying it was a tough weight cut, but supposedly Azaitar was close to making weight.

However, he never made it to the UFC 257 weigh-ins. Matt Frevola still showed up and successfully made weight at 155.5 pounds. The word was that Frevola would serve as a backup with many other lightweight fights on the card.

At this point, you can imagine Frevola would take a fight against anyone considering this would be his fourth cancellation in the last year. Later on this morning, Arman Tsarukyan (15-2) took the scale. He was three pounds over coming in at 159 pounds.

Tsarukyan was scheduled to take on Nasrat Haqparast (12-3) tomorrow night. UFC officials have announced that Haqparast will not compete tomorrow and never made it to weigh-ins this morning just like Azaitar.

With those two out, the promotion moved to book the matchup between Frevola and Tsarukyan. After some scrambling, the UFC confirmed the bout and now Matt Frevola will take on Arman Tsarukyan tomorrow night.

UFC 257’s new lightweight matchup

This will be the first UFC fight for Frevola since October of 2019. As previously mentioned, Frevola had three fights fall through in 2020. It was not surprising at all to see him accept the fight against Tsarukyan this morning.

Tsarukyan is a Russian prospect that has a decent amount of hype behind him. Since 2015, the only man to have defeated Tsarukyan is Islam Makhachev. That loss came in Tsarukyan’s UFC debut.

Since that fight, he’s 2-0 with two decision wins. Both men are riding two-fight winning streaks heading into tomorrow night. While it’s not the opponent they originally had, they both will still have the opportunity to compete on a massive Conor McGregor card.

UFC 257 loses Matt Frevola – Ottman Azaitar

UFC, Matt Frevola

This morning we had the weight-ins for UFC 257 and the PPV lost one of the fights on the main card. While reasons are still unknown at this time, Jon Anik announced that the main card bout between Matt Frevola (8-1-1) and Ottman Azaitar (13-0) was off.

It’s worth noting that Frevola did successfully weigh-in at 155.5 pounds for UFC 257. However, we never saw Azaitar this morning. The word is that Frevola will now serve as a backup for one of the other lightweight bouts on the card should someone else fall out.

This was a fight that I was very intrigued by. Azaitar has looked sensational since he made his UFC debut back in 2019. He’s scored two devastating first round knockouts including one over Khama Worthy.

The Bulldozer looks like he can be a force at 155 pounds. Matt Frevola is riding a two-fight winning streak of his own. “The Steamrolla” was supposed to be a really good test for Azaitar to see just where he’s at in the lightweight division.

Frevola last fought in October of 2019 when he defeated Luis Pena. Frevola had a couple of UFC fights fall through in 2020 and that kept him out. After a year off, you can imagine that Frevola is very frustrated with the developments this morning.

The UFC’s Plan

As mentioned, the UFC’s plan is for Frevola to stick around. There are several lightweight bouts on the card and should someone fallout, he would be there to step in. It’s hard to say what the promotion will do when it comes to the original Azaitar – Frevola fight.

We still don’t know what exactly happened with Azaitar, however, we can likely assume it was a weight cutting issue. This is a really good matchup on paper and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the UFC put this together again soon should Frevola not compete tomorrow night.

 

UFC: Matt Frevola – Roosevelt Roberts targeted for September 12th

UFC, Matt Frevola

The UFC is close to finalizing a fight that was supposed to take place earlier this year. Per MMA Junkie, lightweights Matt Frevola (8-1-1) and Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) are scheduled to fight on September 12th.

These two men were originally supposed to fight back in April, but of course, the UFC schedule got screwed up with the pandemic. Finally these two men are ready to square off. While Roberts, says there’s nothing personal, he see’s red when it comes to Frevola.

UFC Lightweights looking to break through

After Roberts beat Brok Weaver at UFC on ESPN 9, he said that he just wants to go up and start fighting Frevola whenever he sets his sights on him. The cancellation of their April fight was frustrating for Roberts.

While it was frustrating for Roberts, 2020 has been very frustrating for the UFC‘s Frevola. The Steamrolla was set to fight Roberts in April, but that got pushed. Then he was supposed to fight in June, but a cornerman’s positive COVID test cancelled that fight.

Because of these cancellations, it’s been almost a year since Frevola has made the walk in the UFC. After fighting to a draw with Lando Vannata at the end of 2018, Frevola had a solid 2019 with two wins over Luis Pena and Jalin Turner.

Roberts made a big statement with his win over Brok Weaver in May. He turned around three weeks later to fight Jim Miller and that fight didn’t go well. Miller locked up an arm bar early to submit Roberts.

This is a big fight for both of these lightweight contenders. A win for either man should get them closer to getting a top fifteen opponent inside the UFC‘s lightweight division.

 

UFC: Matt Frevola off UFC on ESPN 11 after cornerman’s positive COVID-19 test

UFC, Matt Frevola

One of the fights on the under card for this Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 11 has been changed. Frank Camacho (22-8) was originally scheduled to take on Matt Frevola (8-1-1), however that fight has been scrapped due to a cornerman testing positive for COVID-19.

The UFC announced today that Frevola would be pulled from Saturday’s card after cornerman and fellow fighter, Billy Quarantillo, testing positive for COVID-19. It’s a really tough break for Frevola who was going for his third straight win in the UFC. Frevola tested negative twice for COVID-19, but due to the UFC‘s strict policy, he has been pulled off the card. Frevola is the second fighter to be pulled off a card due to COVID-19.

When the UFC comes knocking, you answer the door

Stepping in for Frevola is Justin Jaynes (15-4). Jaynes will be making his UFC in his fight against Camacho. Jaynes comes into this fight 9-1 in his last 10 appearances. In looking at some tape, Jaynes has a really solid overall game. He’s got some good submission skills, and he’s got some pretty good striking. His last four fights have all ended in the first round, although one of those was by disqualification. There’s not a ton of tape out there on Jaynes, but check out the video below to get a little more background on this weekend’s replacement fighter at UFC on ESPN 11.