UFC lightweight Ottman Azaitar was almost cut by the promotion for breaking COVID-19 protocols ahead of his scheduled fight against Matt Frevola.
The undefeated prospect had his fight scrapped and was initially let go for blatantly breaking Fight Island’s Covid protocol rules.
Azaitar and his team supposedly cut off their wristbands that allowed access to the the fighter hotel, and gave them to friends on the outside. These friends then snuck into the hotel and dropped off a bag with Azaitar’s team. UFC president Dana White immediately had Azaitar’s UFC contract terminated.
Since then the UFC boss has had a change of heart and reinstated Azaitar to the promotion.
The entire affair has left most fans bemused and wondering exactly what was in the bag that was so important Azaitar was willing to break ‘Fight Island’ rules and risk his spot in the UFC. MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz has now answered that question.
“Potatoes,” Abdelaziz told Kevin Iole who asked what was in the bag. “Potatoes. It was potatoes in the bag.”
The head of Dominance MMA went on to explain that Azaitar was never actually cut by the UFC. He was under investigation, before eventually being cleared of any serious wrongdoing.
“He didn’t lose the job,” Abdelaziz said. “At the end of the day, it was almost like an investigation. Dana looked over it. He’s a great kid. Everybody loves him. All the UFC staff loves him. Some people got involved. Dana was involved. Listen, when you have Dana White himself handling certain situations, it’s a serious situation. At the end of the day, if they find out whatever they think he did or didn’t do, he’s a good enough person to get a second shot. He got a second shot at it, and he’s looking to get a fight right now.
“He’s a UFC fighter. He was never cut officially from the UFC,” Abdelaziz repeated. “Let’s remember when you have media start asking about stuff, Dana wears his heart on his sleeve. Nobody can violate the bubble. I don’t think everything that happened was intentional. At the end of the day, it’s over. I’m not saying who’s wrong or who’s right. Dana thankfully brought him back, and everything is good.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
Do you think Ottman Azaitar deserves a second chance in the UFC?