UFC releases Ottman Azaitar for violating ‘Fight Island’ safety protocols

Ottman Azaitar Cut By UFC After Smuggling People Into Fight Island Bubble

There was very little drama at the UFC 257 weigh-ins on Friday morning - with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier the first two on the scales - but there was one major announcement as media members were told that Ottman Azaitar vs. Matt Frevola had been scratched from Saturday's fight card in Abu Dhabi.

While talking to BT Sport, the UFC supremo detailed the story behind the UFC letting go of an upcoming prospect full of potential.

"He and his team cut their wristbands off and got them to people on the outside, one guy", White said.

The reason was unknown until the UFC announced it was "aware of a recent violation of the health and safety protocols involving" Azaitar, causing the cancellation of his bout. "Went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in his room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes and then left".

"Now, when security tried to stop him, he wouldn't stop either way and yeah it's just bad". The 30-year-old Azaitar now holds an undefeated record of 13-0 and made a splash in his first two UFC fights. He's not fighting tonight.

"He changed his clothes and went back outside the bubble".

The UFC has fired Ottman Azaitar after he breached Fight Island's bubble by giving his COVID passport to an outsider.

Separately, Nasrat Haqparast was also withdrawn from the event due to illness, but his opponent Arman Tsarukyan will now face Frevola in the main event of the UFC 257 prelims. "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 measure put in place".

It's very unfortunate that it's come to this as Azaitar was an exciting undefeated record with a 13-0 record who had finished 12 of his opponents inside the distance, with the vast majority of them coming via his heavy-handed striking.