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23rd Jan 2021

Fighter axed from UFC 257 card after bizarre security breach

Simon Lloyd

“He’s gone. He’s no longer a UFC fighter”

Dana White has given details on the decision to expel Ottman Azaitar from the UFC 257 card in Abu Dhabi.

The lightweight was scheduled to take on Matt Frevola ahead of Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon against Dustin Poirier on Sunday. However, it was announced on Friday that the fight would no longer take place, with no explanation given at the time for the decision to drop Azaitar.

White has now clarified matters, explaining that a security breach had not only cost Azaitar his spot at UFC 257, but also his place as a UFC fighter.

“Yeah it’s pretty amazing actually,” he told BT Sport. “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 and showed up here with a bag.

“He 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 either way. It’s just bad. He’s gone, he’s no longer a UFC fighter. And he’s not fighting.”

White continued: “One guy got inside the bubble, went in through a room and shimmied down four balconies, got in through his balcony and dropped off a bag of we don’t know what.

“He changed his clothes and went back outside the bubble. We got everything on camera, we saw the whole thing and how it all went down and pulled his fight and cut him.”

Not the wisest of actions from Azaitar & Co. The fighter has paid a big price for his discretion.