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Elizeu Zaleski returns from suspension against Abubakar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 74

Cristiano Marcello and Elizeu Zaleski
Photo via Cristiano Marcello

Elizeu Zaleski returns to the cage for the first time in 20 months when he meets Abubakar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 74, Zaleski’s coach Cristiano Marcello confirmed to MMA Fighting following a report by Canal Encarada.

UFC Vegas 74 takes place June 3 at the UFC APEX and is headlined by middleweights Jack Hermansson vs. Brendan Allen.

Zaleski (23-7) was hit with a one-year USADA suspension — and a nine-month ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission — after testing positive for ostarine in 2022. His team told MMA Fighting at the time that they were able to prove a supplement was contaminated, but ultimately received a sanction because the Brazilian pharmacy declined to admit guilt.

“Capoeira” last fought in October 2021 with a one-sided decision victory over Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 267, rebounding from a close decision defeat to Muslim Salikhov. A longtime UFC veteran, Zaleski has won nine of his past 11 octagon appearances, including victories over the likes of Sean Strickland, Max Griffin, and Alexey Kunchenko.

Nurmagomedov (17-3-1), cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, is a former WSOF and PFL fighter who has gone 2-1 in the UFC, scoring decisions over Jared Gooden and Gadzhi Omargadzhiev after a debut loss to David Zawada.

“I’m looking forward to Elizeu’s return,” Marcello told MMA Fighting. “He collects bonuses in the UFC and I’ve never seen him in a boring fight. I’m sure he’s coming back with guns blazing. It’s a tough fight, but he’s ready.”

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