Undefeated MMA newcomer Darian Weeks is stepping in on short notice to take on vet Bryan Barberena at UFC Vegas 44, UFC officials announced on Tuesday.
Weeks steps in for Matt Brown, who was forced to withdraw from the event due to a positive COVID-19 test. The fight card for Saturday’s event at UFC APEX in Las Vegas is back to 15 fights, all of which air live on ESPN and ESPN+.
Weeks was scheduled to audition for the UFC on the Contender Series earlier this year, but he was forced to withdraw from the event due to COVID-19 protocols. The 28-year-old from Missouri is 5-0 in the cage with an extensive amateur record of 15-3.
Barberena hopes to snap an octagon skid that’s resulted in a 1-3 record in his past four outings, which most recently included a decision loss to Jason Witt in July.
UFC Vegas 44 is headlined by a bantamweight fight between top contender Rob Font and former featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo.