UFC 257 is a go for tomorrow night from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, but two of the bouts have been moved by the wayside.
The good news is both bouts were in the lightweight division, and the fighters left without a partner will now square off. Arman Tsarukyan was scheduled to dance with Nasrat Haqparast, but Haqparast never made it on the scale due to an illness. Tsarukyan took an extra hour to cut weight, but he got down to 157 lbs with the limit being at 156.
That will benefit the wallet of his new opponent Matt Frevola, who will receive 20% of Tsarukyan’s purse when they battle tomorrow evening. Frevola was scheduled to fight Ottman Azaitar, but that went off the rails very quickly, and not for weigh-in or health reasons.
Azaitar apparently was trying to sneak people onto Fight Island using wristbands cut off from those that had already received them. They were basically using the trick people do to get extra folks up to a luxury suite at a football or basketball game where one person gathers all the tickets and hands them out to their friends waiting downstairs. Except this is a global pandemic, and this is your profession.
"It's bad, he's gone, he's no longer a UFC fighter."— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 22, 2021
Dana White explains why Ottman Azaitar has been cut from the UFC following a health and safety breach at #UFC257. pic.twitter.com/UO3aJbLUWO
He has been fired by UFC President Dana White, and with his criminal history in Germany maybe he never should have been in the promotion in the first place.
The rest of the scheduled card kicks off at 6:30pm EST with the early preliminary fights, the undercard at 8:00pm EST, and the pay-per-view only card on ESPN+ at 10pm EST.