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With Mike Grundy out, Nik Lentz now meets Movsar Evloev at UFC 257

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Nik Lentz
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Nik Lentz has a new date and a new opponent for his first fight in 2021.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Lentz—who was supposed to meet Mike Grundy at UFC Fight Island 7 this Saturday—will now face Movsar Evloev at UFC 257. Grundy took to Twitter and stated that the reason for his withdrawal was due to a positive COVID-19 test amongst his team.

MMA DNA was first to report the switch.

The UFC’s first pay-per-view event of the year takes place Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi and will be headlined by a pivotal lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

Lentz (30-11-2, 1 NC) returns to action for the first time since dropping a unanimous decision to Arnold Allen a little less than a year ago at UFC Raleigh. “The Carnie” has lost his past two fights and hopes to get back in the win column for the first time since a unanimous decision win over Scott Holtzman at UFC on ESPN 1 in February 2019.

Coincidentally, Evloev enters this fight on the heels of defeating Grundy—the man he is replacing—at UFC on ESPN 14 in July on Fight Island. Evloev has won all 13 of his professional bouts, including a 3-0 start inside the octagon. The 26-year-old was scheduled to meet longtime M-1 Global rival Nate Landwehr in December before Evloev was a late scratch due to a positive COVID-19 test.