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Fiziev out of UFC 272 with COVID

Rafael Fiziev celebrates after his victory over Brad Riddell at UFC 272. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

This weekend’s PPV card just took a big hit, with reports that Rafael Fiziev has been pulled from the co-main event.

It wasn’t that long ago that it felt like the UFC 272 had got a serious boost of top tier entertainment with the addition of a lightweight action bout between former champion Rafael Dos Anjos and rising contender Rafael Fiziev. The fight, originally scheduled for UFC Vegas 48 on February 19th, had to be moved back two weeks due to Fiziev’s reported struggles attaining a US visa.

Unfortunately, it seems Fiziev has hit another snag in his prep for UFC 272. Following reports from Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, ‘Ataman’ took to Twitter to confirm that he’s contracted COVID-19.

I called out RDA and I still want that fight when my health will allow me to compete again. Apologies to him, but saying that I was faking it is complete nonsense. Time will put everything in place

— Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev (@RafaelFiziev) February 28, 2022

From Fiziev’s Tweets, it would appear he got sick only after arriving in the US. Hopefully, he can recover soon and make a quick return to the Octagon. No word yet as to whether the UFC will be seeking a replacement to face Dos Anjos on this weekend’s card, although Renato Moicano has reportedly offered to step in for the short-notice booking.

At the moment, UFC 272 is set to feature a welterweight grudge match main event between Jorge Masvidal and former friend & training partner Colby Covington. A featherweight fight between Edson Barboza and Bryce Mitchell is also set for the PPV portion of the card, alongside the welterweight debut of Kevin Holland against Alex Oliveira. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more fight week news and notes.

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