Talented lightweight striker, Ottman ‘Bulldozer’ Azaitar’s brief time under the UFC’s banner is over already it seems.

Scheduled to match with Matt ‘The Steamrolla’ Frevola in the featured preliminary slot of UFC 257 this weekend in Abu Dhabi, UAE — the Moroccan born striker has been removed from the bout due to a violation of the health and safety protocols brought in by the UFC and has subsequently been handed his walking papers. 

A two-fight Octagon veteran, the undefeated knockout-artist held a 2-0 record under the UFC’s scrutiny, taking knockout wins over both Teemu Packalan, as well as a UFC Vegas 10 stoppage over the highly-touted, Khama ‘Deathstar’ Worthy in September.
Removed from his pairing with Frevola, uber-prospect, Arman Tsrukyan draws the former after he saw his matchup with Nasrat Haqparast cancelled as the latter deals with an illness.

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Confirming with MMA Junkie reporter, Farah Hannoun that Azaitar had been released from his UFC contract, UFC president, Dana White spoke with BT Sports reporter, Adam Catterall and detailed how Azaitar had broken the health and safety protocols, in rather bizarre fashion it has to be said — resulting in his release.

It’s pretty amazing actually,” White responded when asked how Azaitar could’ve possibly violated the health and safety protocols whilst inside the UFC 257 bubble. “So he (Ottman Azaitar) and his team cut off their wristbands, gave them to somebody else outside the bubble — I don’t even know how they even did it. That guy taped them (the wristbands), 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 then left.

“Now, when security tried to stop him, he wouldn’t stop either way,” White said. “Yeah, it’s just bad. He’s (Azaitar) gone, he’s no longer a UFC fighter. And he’s not fighting tonight.

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Whilst Azaitar has been removed from proceedings tomorrow at the Etihad Arena as well as seeing his contract terminated, Frevola and Tsarukyan square off against each other, in the hope of extending their respective winning runs to three-straight fights.

Taking decision wins in his last two, Frevola overcame both Jalin Turner and Luis Pena, while the highly-touted, Tsarukyan bested both Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Davi Ramos. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.