UFC releases Ottman Azaitar for violating COVID-19 protocols

Sep 7, 2019; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Ottman Azaitar (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Teemu Packalen (blue gloves) during UFC 242 at The Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ottman Azaitar was released by the UFC for violating COVID-19 safety protocols on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.

Azaitar (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) had been scheduled to fight Matt Frevola at UFC 257 on Friday, but the 30-year-old did not make it to Friday’s official weigh-ins.

“He and his team cut their wristbands off and got them to people on the outside, one guy,” UFC president Dana White told MMAJunkie. “This guy got inside the bubble, went in through a room, shimmied down four balconies, went in through (Azaitar’s) balcony, and dropped off a bag of we don’t know what. Then he changed his clothes and went back outside of the bubble. We got everything on camera, we saw the whole thing, and how it all went down, pulled his fight and cut him.”

Azaitar scored first-round knockouts of Teemu Packalen and Khama Worthy in his first two UFC fights.

With Azaitar-Frevola pulled from the card, UFC 257 now features 11 fights. The middleweight bout between Makhmud Muradov and Andrew Sanchez has been moved from the preliminary to the main card.

–Field Level Media