Rafael Estevam’s UFC debut will have to wait as weight management issues has scratched his UFC 288 matchup with Zhalgas Zhumagulov.
It was revealed during Friday’s official weigh-ins that Estevam was scratched from his fight with Zhumagulov — the second fight cancellation from Saturday’s pay-per-view event in as many days.
Estevam earned a UFC contract with a second-round finish on Dana White’s Contender Series this past September — his 11th straight victory to begin his pro career. Estevam was scheduled to face Carlos Candelario in April before an injury to Candelario moved the 26-year-old to Saturday’s card.
For Zhumagulov, his opportunity to snap a three-fight skid will have to be put on hold. The 34-year-old who made waves with a new hairstyle this week has dropped to straight split decisions to Jeff Molina and Charles Johnson, along with suffering a stoppage loss to Manel Kape during the losing streak.
As of now, UFC 288 will move forward with 12 fights, including the bantamweight championship main event between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo.