Looks like Ottman Azaitar will stay a member of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster after all.
Azaitar was essentially handed his walking papers by UFC president Dana White just last month following a safety breach at UFC 257 on “Fight Island.” According to White, Azaitar and his team cut their wristbands off and gave them to somebody outside of the “Fight Island” bubble. The individual then gained access to “Fight Island” and scaled a hotel balcony to get into Azaitar’s room to drop off a bag.
Of course, this was a direct breach of UFC’s COVID-19 safety protocols put in place for “Fight Island.” Azaitar was quickly removed from his UFC 257 matchup with Matt Frevola and it was assumed he’d be released from his UFC contract.
“It’s bad, he’s gone, he’s no longer a UFC fighter,” White said just last month.
Luckily for Azaitar, White has had a change of heart and will now give the lightweight prospect a “second chance” in UFC, per ESPN. Azaitar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, informed ESPN that the entire ordeal was a “misunderstanding” and that Azaitar was never actually removed from the UFC roster or active drug testing.
Very grateful to @danawhite and humbled by this decision. There are others I want to thank. They know who they are and we appreciate them very much this was done way above my pay grade https://t.co/Nge7GL3WFO— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) February 20, 2021
“Very grateful to @danawhite and humbled by this decision. There are others I want to thank. They know who they are and we appreciate them very much this was done way above my pay grade,” said Abdelaziz via Twitter.
Azaitar, 31, made his UFC debut back in 2019 with a first-round knockout finish over Teemu Packalen. “Bulldozer” followed his efforts up with another first-round knockout finish over Khama Worthy last September. Azaitar will now have the opportunity to continue his MMA career as a member of UFC and try to put his undefeated 13-0 record to the test at 155 pounds.
What do you think, fight fans? Should UFC be giving Azaitar a second chance?
Let’s hear it!