Multiple people with knowledge of the shift confirmed the news to MMA Fighting after an initial report from MMA Island. UFC Fight Island 7 takes place Jan. 16 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and current is expected to feature 13 bouts. UFC 259 is scheduled for March 6 at a location to be determined.
Espinosa is three months removed from his most recent octagon appearance, which came at UFC Vegas 11 and ended in a decision loss to David Dvorak. The Contender Series vet is 2-3 in his past five UFC outings.
One-time title challenger Elliott in July snapped a three-fight streak that included a submission loss to current champ Deiveson Figueiredo. He outpointed vet Ryan Benoit at UFC Fight Island to get back in the win column.
UFC Fight Island 7 is the promotion’s first event of 2021 and kicks off a series of fight cards on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.