UFC 257 takes place on Saturday night, pitting Conor McGregor against Daniel Poirier in a rematch of a fight from 2014. The fight card recently lost one match, however, due to a safety violation by Ottman Azaitar. UFC president Dana White fired him on the spot and removed the bout from the schedule.
According to TMZ Sports, the safety violation on Fight Island occurred when Azaitar attempted to sneak an unapproved person into the fight area of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, using methods reserved for spy movies. White and his staff found out about the guest and took action. The UFC president then met with reporters and said that move was "amazing" before detailing a unique situation.
"So [Ottman Azaitar] and his team cut off their wrist bands, gave 'em to somebody outside the bubble," White said. "I don't know how they even did it. That guy taped [the wristbands], showed up here with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in [Azaitar's] room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes and then left.
"Now, when security tried to stop him, he wouldn't stop either way and yeah it's just bad," White continued. He then confirmed that Azaitar is no longer a member of the promotion and that he wouldn't be taking part in the UFC 257 pay-per-view event.
Once White told the story about Azaitar's unapproved guest, TMZ reached out to find out more information about the mystery bag. The UFC sources did not know what the contents were and that information may not come to light. Security officials escorted Azaitar and his entire team off of the premises following the violation.
"Unfortunately, I do not know what was in the bag," ESPN's Ariel Helwani said on The Pat McAfee Show. "That's obviously a massive deal, and I think that the UFC is in the right for doing that. They are trying to keep everything under control over there. Can you imagine — like this is the Conor McGregor fight? Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and you've got some people climbing over balconies. Just unbelievably dumb."
With the undefeated lightweight no longer part of the promotion, the UFC shuffled the schedule and found a new opponent for Matt Frevola. He will now face Arman Tsarukyan in the prelims of UFC 257. Tsarukyan's original opponent was had to leave the fight card due to medical reasons, per ESPN.