UFC's Dana White: Ottman Azaitar Will Get 2nd Chance After Breaking Protocols

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2021

An overall, general view of the octagon at UFC Fight Night, Sunday, December 8, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Ottman Azaitar will be given another opportunity to prove himself in the UFC after he was going to be released for violating COVID-19 protocols.

UFC President Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto that Azaitar will receive a "second chance" with the promotion.

White told reporters in January that Azaitar was "no longer a UFC fighter" after he violated safety protocols prior to UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:

Azaitar was scheduled to fight Matt Frevola on the preliminary card of the Jan. 23 event.

On the day of weigh-ins, though, White announced the bout had been canceled because Azaitar was found to have helped people enter UFC's designated safety zone without going through COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Azaitar, 31, joined UFC in 2019 after fighting in various mixed martial arts promotions for the previous five years. He's won his first two bouts by knockout and TKO in the first round, earning performance of the night bonuses both times.

Bulldozer has a 13-0 career record with 10 victories coming by KO or TKO. He's also won 10 of his 13 fights in the first round.

Ali Abdelaziz, Azaitar's manager, told Okamoto the fighter was never removed from UFC's year-round drug testing program or its roster despite White's comments last month.

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No date or opponent has been named for Azaitar's next fight.