The lineup for the UFC’s return to the Netherlands next month has undergone a change, and an Australian will make his promotional debut.
Abu Azaitar (12-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is out of his welterweight fight against Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC Fight Night 115. He’ll be replaced by Rob Wilkinson (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Although not yet announced by the promotion, a UFC official confirmed the change to MMAjunkie following an initial report from Fight News Australia.
UFC Fight Night 115 takes place Sept. 2 at Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The 25-year-old Wilkinson, from Australia, is a perfect 11-0 to open his career. He’ll be fighting for the first time in 11 months, but brings a stellar resume to the fight. Ten of his 11 pro wins are by stoppage, including six submissions, and nine of them have come in the first round.
Bahadurzada hasn’t fought since March 2016, when he upset Brandon Thatch with a third-round submission at UFC 196. The Afghan fighter was supposed to return this past July at UFC 201, but had to withdraw from a bout with Jorge Masvidal due to illness.
Bahadurzada is no stranger to lengthy layoffs, having walked into the Thatch bout after a two-year, injury-motivated hiatus. The victory evened out a UFC record that included a debut win over Paulo Thiago and consecutive losses to Dong Hyun Kim and John Howard.
Germany’s Azaitar was set to make his promotional debut following a unanimous decision win over Mike Arrant at WSOF 33 this past October. He hasn’t suffered a professional loss since 2012, boasting a solid eight victories in nine bouts, with a draw sandwiched in the middle. But now his shot at the UFC is put on hold.
The latest UFC Fight Night 115 card now includes:
- Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov
- Germaine de Randamie vs. Marion Reneau
- Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Rob Wilkinson
- Bryan Barberena vs. Leon Edwards
- Darren Till vs. Bojan Velickovic
- Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Saparbek Safarov
- Felipe Silva vs. Mairbek Taisumov
- Islam Makhachev vs. Michel Prazeres
- Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov
- Francimar Barroso vs. Aleksandar Rakic
- Nick Hein vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
- Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Bojan Mihajlovic