The heavyweight fight between Azamat Murzakanov and Jared Vanderaa was going to be interesting Saturday night.
Now it’s not happening.
Promotion officials announced just after the end of Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC on ESPNS 31 that the preliminary card bout had been scrapped after Vanderaa was not medically cleared for the bout, despite weighing in.
Murzakanov (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Vanderaa (12-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) both weighed in during the proceedings, and what was going to make their tilt, which was slated for the second fight on the card, particularly noteworthy was their big weight discrepancy.
Vanderaa was right at the top of the heavyweight limit at 265 pounds. But Murzakanov was nearly 50 pounds less than that at 216.5.
Murzakanov is a career light heavyweight who got into the UFC in that division through Dana White’s Contenders Series. After a 205-pound fight with Marcin Prachnio was scrapped in November, Murzakanov took the fight with Vanderaa at heavyweight, meaning he didn’t have to worry about a weight cut.
But now his official UFC debut is on hold. It’s not yet known if the fight will remain intact and move to a later event, or if both fighters will get new opponents down the road.
The updated UFC on ESPN 31 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET)
Rob Font vs. Jose Aldo Rafael Fiziev vs. Brad Riddell Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos Brendan Allen vs. Chris Curtis Mickey Gall vs. Alex Morono
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN/ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)
Maki Pitolo vs. Dusko Todorovic Manel Kape vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov Bryan Barberena vs. Darian Weeks Jake Matthews vs. Jeremiah Wells Mallory Martin vs. Cheyanne Vlismas William Knight vs. Alonzo Menifield Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Claudio Puelles Vince Morales vs. Louis Smolka MORE:
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