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Aaron Phillips out of UFC Vegas 41 due to illness, Jonathan Martinez awaits word on a replacement

Gallery Photo: UFC 173 Weigh-in Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Aaron Phillips will no longer compete at UFC Vegas 41 next weekend.

The bantamweight fighter revealed the news in an Instagram post on Friday while detailing the illness he’s been facing while trying to prepare for his upcoming return to action against Jonathan Martinez.

“My fight next weekend Oct. 23 will be off,” Phillips wrote. “I have been feeling ill finishing camp. Started off with headaches and low energy, feeling flat in training. Kept going to extreme fatigue, groggy, sleeping in the afternoon. I feel best early in the day and when outside. I appreciate all the coaches that have helped classes as I’ve been out. This isn’t the first wave I’ve had of similar symptoms in the last year, but the timing is obviously bad.

“I’m negative on multiple COVID tests these last two weeks. I’m unsure if we are dealing with long COVID symptoms, or otherwise. We are pursuing blood work and meeting with an immunologist to try and get solid answers. I have a great team of support in my family, students, teammates, coaches, my management team, and a great local community. I look forwards to getting out there and competing for you guys next year.”

It’s unfortunate news for Phillips, who hasn’t fought since July 2020 when he suffered a submission loss to Jack Shore. That dropped Phillips to 0-3 in the UFC after he previously competed for the promotion back in 2014.

Since then, Phillips has been rumored for several fights but still hasn’t been able to compete and now it appears he’ll have to wait until sometime in 2022 to make his return.

As for Martinez, sources speaking to MMA Fighting on Friday said that there’s been no word on a possible replacement to step into the matchup against him on Oct. 23.

Martinez is also seeking to get back into the win column after he fell to Davey Grant in his last appearance in January, which stopped a two fight win streak with victories over Frankie Saenz and Thomas Almeida.

The upcoming UFC Vegas 41 card will be headlined by a hotly contested middleweight fight between two former title challengers as Marvin Vettori clashes with Paulo Costa.