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With Steve Garcia out, Youssef Zalal steps in to face Peter Barrett at Aug. 8 UFC event

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Peter Barrett will still make his octagon debut next month. He’ll just be doing so against a different opponent.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Barrett will now face Youssef Zalal at the UFC’s event on Aug. 8. Steve Garcia was Barrett’s originally scheduled opponent but was forced to withdraw from the featherweight bout due to undisclosed reasons.

Barrett earned a contract after defeating Sang Hoon Yoo on the Contender Series in August. He was to face Danny Henry at UFC Lincoln on April 25, but that event was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. A training partner of UFC vets Joe Lauzon and Calvin Kattar, “Slippery Pete” has won three of his last four fights as he returns to the spot where his professional dream became a reality less nearly a year ago.

Zalal looks to improve his UFC record to 3-0 as he steps in, once again, on short notice. “The Moroccan Devil” picked up octagon victories over Austin Lingo and Jordan Griffin following a highlight-reel flying knee knockout victory over Jaime Hernandez in the first round at November’s LFA 79 event.

The UFC’s Aug. 8 card will take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas and will be headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleinik.

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