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UFC Columbus loses heavyweight bout hours before showtime

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes v Daukaus Weigh-in Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

A heavyweight matchup between Ilir Latifi and Aleksei Oleinik has been removed from tonight’s (Sat., Mar. 26, 2022) UFC Columbus card airing live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

This is according to a recent report by UFC’s social media account, which states that Latifi has been removed from the card due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19. It is unknown at this time if UFC officials are looking to re-book the heavyweight matchup for a later event.

Latifi, 38, was hoping to build on his recent split-decision win over Tanner Boser back in June 2021. That win ended a three-fight losing streak for “Sledgehammer” stretching across the UFC’s light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. It is unknown at this time what knocked Latifi out of his fight at UFC Columbus or how long he will be sidelined.

Oleinik, 44, has lost his last three trips to the Octagon and was hoping to get back into the win column this weekend in Ohio. The submission specialist will have to wait a little longer to right the ship in the UFC’s evolving heavyweight division, which Oleinik is just 2-5 in his last seven fights.

Check out the updated UFC Columbus fight card below:

Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+)
7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT

Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus
Joanne Wood vs. Alexa Grasso
Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena
Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara-France
Neil Magny vs. Max Griffin
Marc Diakiese vs. Viacheslav Borshchev

‘Prelims’ Undercard (ESPN/ESPN+)
4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT

Sara McMann vs. Karol Rosa
Chris Gutierrez vs. Danaa Batgerel
Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Denis Tiuliulin
Jennifer Maia vs. Manon Fiorot
Matheus Nicolau vs. David Dvorak
Luis Saldana vs. Bruno Souza

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Columbus fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET. Full odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Columbus news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here and here. For the updated and finalized “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” fight card and ESPN/ESPN+ lineup click here.