Ottman Azaitar cut from the UFC for breaching COVID-19 protocols ahead of UFC 257

Ottman Azaitar has been released from the UFC after he breached health and safety protocols ahead of UFC 257.

The Moroccan was due to fight Matt Frevola on the main card of UFC 257 which is headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. However, it was announced prior to the weigh-ins that the fight had been removed from Saturday night’s card with no specific reason given at the time.

Ottman Azaitar
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Ottman Azaitar of Germany punches Khama Worthy in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Dana White then revealed following the faceoffs that Azaitar had actually breached health and safety protocols at ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi and therefore been cut by the UFC.

White told BT Sport exactly what Ottman Azaitar had done to breach the protocols.

“It’s pretty amazing actually,” White said. “He and his team cut off their wristbands gave them to somebody outside the bubble, I don’t know how they even did it.

“That guy taped them, showed up here with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in his room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes, and then left. When security tried to stop him, he wouldn’t stop.”

The UFC sent out a statement regarding the now cancelled fight.

“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.
 
The organization continues to keep the health and safety of all participants as the top priority and will take action against anyone that does not adhere to the strict measures put in place,” the statement read.

Azaitar, 30, is undefeated as a fighter with a record of 13-0. He had been living up to his ‘Bulldozer’ nickname with his first two fights in the UFC being back-to-back first round knockout victories over Teemu Packalen and Khama Worthy.

Saturday night’s card has now been reshuffled with Makhmud Muradov vs Andrew Sanchez being moved up to the main card of the first PPV event of the year.

Matt Frevola who was scheduled to fight the 30-year-old will now face Arman Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan’s scheduled bout was also called off as his opponent Nasrat Haqparast was forced to pull out due to illness.


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Main Image Credits: Embed from Getty Images, Embed from Getty Images

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Dion Williams
Dion Williams is a Combat Sports writer for Overtime Heroics covering mainly UFC but also Bellator and Cage Warriors!

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