UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi is coming up fast on October 22nd, but when the lights come on at Etihad Arena there’ll be three fewer fighters on the card.
The event features two title fights: Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title, and Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the UFC bantamweight title. Important divisional contender fights make up the remainder of the pay-per-view portion of the card: Petr Yan vs. Sean O’Malley, Beneil Dariush vs. Mateusz Gamrot, and Manon Fiorot vs. Katlyn Chookagian.
All these fights remain on the card at this time, but the prelims portion of UFC 280 will be slightly shorter after new heavyweight signee Slim Trabelsi was released due to contractual issues with French promotion ARES FC. The 5-0 Trabelsi was set to face 12-7 Parker Porter.
Slim Trabelsi may have only lasted a few days on the UFC’s roster but was already being hyped as an exciting addition to the UFC’s heavyweight division. Unfortunately, some sort of conflict between managers Fernand Lopez and Ali Abdelaziz led to Trabelsi being unable to get out of his ARES FC contract.
“To fight in Ares, we have to be managed by Fernand Lopez,” Trabelsi said in an interview with Sport en France. “Initially he said to me, you have a four-fight contract in Ares and if the UFC calls you, I’ll let you go to the UFC. I trusted him and I signed the contract and when UFC called me, he tried to block me with the Ares contract.”
“Ali signed me to UFC and I was to fight on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi and Fernand blocked me. He called Ali asking for €90,000 to let me go to UFC. Ali offered to give him a percentage of the money I was going to earn in my UFC fights and even with that, he refused.”
With the removal of Trabelsi, Porter will no longer be featured on the card. Trabelsi was already a replacement fighter for Hamdy Abdelwahab, Porter’s original opponent. No reason was given for Abdelwahab’s removal, but now that the MMA Gods have struck down a second fight, the UFC has opted to take Parker Porter off UFC 280 entirely.
Australian Jamie Mullarkey is also off the card with an undisclosed injury. He was set to face Magomed Mustafaev in a lightweight bout. At this point Mustafaev remains on the card and the UFC is looking into a replacement opponent for the 14-3 Dagestani fighter.
UFC 280 won’t hurt too much with the removal of these fights. The card is still loaded with 13 fights (14 if Mustafaev remains on the card), and could even see some late additions as well. With the United States being very stingy with visa approvals at the moment, many international fighters have few options but to compete in Abu Dhabi or on the rare European card.
Given that situation, we imagine it won’t be too difficult finding last minute replacements should anything happen to any of the other fights.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM