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Dana White just fired a UFC 257 fighter for ‘bad’ safety breach — ‘He’s gone’

UFC spent a small fortune to create a quarantine bubble on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, only to have the entire thing compromised the day before Conor McGregor’s highly-anticipated return to MMA.

Usually when a fighter does not show up to weigh ins, it’s because he (or she) has struggled with a difficult weight cut and was forced to seek medical attention. Or in more recent times, the silent culprit has been novel coronavirus.

Not today.

Undefeated lightweight sensation Ottman Azaitar was missing from the UFC 257 weigh ins because he was cut from the promotion. It seems “Bulldozer” tried to sneak some friends into the quarantine bubble without realizing cameras were capturing his every move.

“It’s pretty amazing actually,” White told BT Sport. “He and his team cut off their wristbands, gave them to somebody else outside the bubble, I don’t know how they even did it. That guy taped them, showed up with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went into his room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes, and then left. When security tried to stop him, he wouldn’t stop. It’s bad. He’s gone, he’s no longer a UFC fighter.”

Here’s another take:

It’s an unfortunate ending for one of the up-and-coming stars at 155 pounds. Azaitar is a perfect 13-0 in his MMA career with 10 knockouts and two submissions and was slotted to face Matt Frevola on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card in Abu Dhabi.

Instead, Frevola will move down to the UFC 257 “Prelims” card on ESPN and ESPN+ to face off against Arman Tsarukyan after “Ahalkalakets’” original opponent, Nasrat Haqparast, failed to make it to the scale for the Jan. 23 event.

Never a dull moment in this sport.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 257 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 257: “McGregor vs. Poirier 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the entire UFC 257 fight card and PPV line up click here.