Gregor Gillespie vs. Brad Riddell Removed from UFC Fight Night Card Due to COVID

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2021

Gregor Gillespie, right, punches Yancy Medeiros during the second round of a lightweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in New York. Gillespie won the fight. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The UFC announced Saturday's scheduled lightweight fight between Gregor Gillespie and Brad Riddell has been postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.

ESPN's Marc Raimondi reported the remainder of the card will move forward with the welterweight bout between Song Kenan and Max Griffin being elevated to a co-main event alongside the battle between middleweights Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland.

Gillespie, the 2007 NCAA Division I 149-pound wrestling champion, opened his MMA career with 13 straight victories before his knockout loss to Kevin Lee in November 2019. He was set end a 16-month stretch without a fight before Saturday's postponement.

"They only care about the last one, and that's the proof right here, is that I had 13 wins in a row with five finishes in the UFC and I lost one, and that's all people remember," Gillespie told reporters Wednesday. "I get it: That's part of the culture."

Riddell is 3-0 since joining the UFC and is on a six-fight winning streak overall. He defeated Alex da Silva Coelho by unanimous decision at UFC 253 in September for his most recent win.

"This division is brutal, this lightweight division," Riddell told UFC.com on Thursday. "When you're there, you can legitimately call yourself one of the best fighters at that weight in the world. That's my motivation, that just a handful of people can say that. I'm going to be one of them."

The UFC didn't immediately announce how long the clash would be delayed.

Saturday's UFC on ESPN 21 card will take place at the promotion's Apex facility in Nevada. The prelims start at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 followed by the main card at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.