While hundreds of fighters have come and gone from the UFC, none have left the promotion on as unusual a final note as Ottman Azaitar. During Friday's weigh-in for UFC 257, the UFC announced Azaitar's fight with Matt Frevola would no longer be taking place due to "a recent violation of the health and safety protocols."
After Frevola was able to be rebooked against Arman Tsarukyan -- who had missed weight for his bout with Nasrat Haqparast, who withdrew from the fight due illness -- it was announced Azaitar's violation was so severe that he'd been cut from the UFC entirely.
UFC president Dana White was asked if he could provide specifics on Azaitar's violation inside the "bubble" on Fight Island and described a scene that sounded like something out of a heist movie.
"It's pretty amazing actually," White told BT Sport. "Did we not tell the story? Are we not telling the story? So, he and his team, cut off their wristbands, gave them to somebody outside the bubble, I don't know how they even did it. That guy taped them, showed up here with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in his room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes and left. When security tried to stop him, he wouldn't stop. It's just, yeah, he's gone. He's no longer a UFC fighter and he's not fighting tonight."
White also noted that everything was on camera, so figuring out what happened was not difficult. Azaitar was a top prospect at lightweight, with a 13-0 record and 12 finishes, including two first-round knockouts in his first two trips to the UFC Octagon.
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