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Muslim Salikhov withdraws from Santiago Ponzinibbio fight on Jan. 16 on ‘Fight Island’

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UFC 242: Taleb v Salikhov Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Santiago Ponzinibbio is once again left without a fight (for now) after his opponent, Muslim Salikhov, was forced to withdraw from their scheduled Welterweight showdown, set for Jan. 16, 2021 in Abu Dhabi.

After announcing his withdrawal on social media, MMA Fighting got word that Salikhov bowed out due to health reasons which stem from his positive COVID-19 diagnosis a few months back.

In October, Salikhov withdrew from his scheduled bout against Claudio Silva, which was supposed to go down at UFC Fight Island 6. As a result, James Krause stepped in and took the fight and wound up winning a unanimous decision.

As for Ponzinibbio, the promotion still has plenty of time to find a suitable replacement for the 170-pound standout since the ESPN+-streamed event is still one month away. Santiago — who is currently the proud owner of a highly-impressive seven fight win streak — hasn’t competed in over two years.

The UFC “Fight Night” event is set to feature a Featherweight matchup between former division champion, Max Holloway, taking on Calvin Kattar.