MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz confirmed with sources with knowledge of the change that Salikhov has been forced to withdraw from his welterweight bout with Pereira scheduled for Jan. 15. Officials are currently seeking a replacement opponent for Pereira.
The reason for Salikhov’s withdrawal was not disclosed.
This was to be the first fight for both competitors since last summer. Salikhov (18-2) defeated Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Vegas 28 in June to win his fifth straight fight and bump his UFC record to 5-1.
Pereira (26-11-2) seeks a fourth consecutive win. In his lone appearance of 2021, he defeated Niko Price by unanimous decision at UFC 264 in June. The showy “Demolidor” saw his UFC career begin in roller-coaster fashion after recording a spectacular first-round knockout of Danny Roberts in his debut and then following that up with an upset loss to Tristan Connelly and then a disqualification loss to veteran Diego Sanchez. He rebounded with wins over Price, Khaos Williams, and Zelim Imadaev.