Two fighters scheduled to compete later this month will not be making the trip to “Fight Island.”
MMA Fighting confirmed with sources that welterweights Danny Roberts and Shavkat Rakhmonov are out of their respective bouts opposite Nicolas Dalby and Ramazan Emeev, which were scheduled for the upcoming July 25 “Fight Island” show in Abu Dhabi. The withdrawals were first reported by MMA Junkie.
Roberts also confirmed his scratch due to injury via Instagram on Thursday
Rakhmonov’s withdrawal is due to injury, while the reason for the Roberts scratch was not disclosed. With three weeks to go until fight night, it is possible officials could seek out replacements, though UFC President Dana White has stated that it will be more difficult than usual to bring in fighters on short-notice as the event is taking place on Yas Island and COVID-19 testing will be observed.
Roberts and Dalby were previously booked to face one another at a Fight Night event on March 21 in London, but that event was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. This was to be Roberts’ first fight since November, while Dalby most recently competed in September.
Shavkat, a former M-1 Global champion with a 12-0 record, was also expected to fight in London against Bartosz Fabinski. His UFC debut was later re-booked for July 25 against Emeev, but will now come at a later date.