The UFC 264 opener between Hu Yaozong and Alen Amedovski is off the card after COVID-19 protocols prompted officials to cancel the bout.
Saturday’s pay-per-view event will now proceed with 12 bouts, UFC officials confirmed to MMA Fighting after an initial report from ESPN.com. The event’s broadcast start will remain the same at 6:00 p.m. ET, and the first fight is expected to start around 6:30 p.m. ET.
The COVID-19 protocol issues were identified in Amedovski’s camp. The Macedonian fighter hoped to earn his first octagon win after a pair of losses in his first two outings; he was stopped in just 14 seconds by John Phillips in his most recent appearance.
Hu was also in need of redemption after back-to-back UFC losses and a long layoff. The Chinese fighter’s most recent appearance came in 2018 and ended in a decision loss to Rashad Coulter. In June 2019, Hu accepted a 10-month suspension from UFC anti-doping partner U.S. Anti-Doping Agency when a dietary supplement he took came up positive for metabolites of multiple banned performance-enhancers.
UFC 264 is headlined by a trilogy between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor and takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.