Ottman Azaitar cut from UFC for attempting to smuggle people into Fight Island bubble

Ottman Azaitar
Image via @ottmanazaitar on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Unbeaten lightweight Ottman Azaitar, who was slated to fight Matt Frevola on Saturday’s UFC 257 card, has been cut from the UFC after attempting to smuggle people into the promotion’s Fight Island bubble.

Throughout the pandemic, the UFC has promoted a long list of exciting events on Fight Island—Yas Island in Abu Dhabi—but that’s only been possible due to rigorous safety protocols that strictly limit who is allowed into the bubble.

According to Farrah Hannoun of MMA Junkie, Azaitar and his team made the grievous and dangerous mistake of attempting to smuggle people into the Fight Island bubble by removing their own wristbands and giving them to others outside the bubble. The fighter and his team were caught in the act on camera, which has resulted in his immediate ejection from the safe zone, and Azaitar’s release from the UFC.

“Dana White tells me that as a result of Ottman Azaitar violating the safety protocols, he has been cut from the UFC,” Hannoun reported on Twitter shortly after Azaitar failed to appear at the UFC 257 weigh-ins.

“White tells me Azaitar and his team cut their wristbands and handed them to others outside of the safe zone that snuck in past the security members and everything was caught on camera,” Hannoun added.

The UFC has also released a short statement on the Azaitar situation.

“UFC is aware of a recent violation of the health and safety protocols involving Ottman Azaitar,” the statement read (via Nolan King of MMA Junkie). “As such, Azaitar has been removed from the safety zone and his upcoming bout against Matt Frevola has been canceled.

“The organization continues to keep the health and safety of all participants as the top priority and will take action against anyone that does not adhere to the strict measures put in place.”

Ottman Azaitar, 13-0 as a pro, would have entered the cage at UFC 257 with a 2-0 mark in the promotion’s stacked lightweight division. Had he won, he would have cemented his reputation as a definite prospect to watch. Regrettably, he’s shot himself in the foot.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM