Fight cancellations hit UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier

UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier will proceed with 12 fights.

By: Kristen King | 3 months ago
Fight cancellations hit UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier
Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC 288 weigh-ins | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Less than 24 hours away from official weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier, the event has suffered some changes. Originally scheduled for 14 fights, it is now down to 12 after a pair of cancellations were announced.

Miles Johns suffers injury during fight week

On Thursday, the UFC announced that a bantamweight bout between Raoni Barcelos and Miles Johns was canceled due to injury. In an Instagram post, Johns confirmed the injury and apologized to Barcelos, who he hoped to be rescheduled against. 

“Fight [is] off guys,” wrote Johns. “I suffered an injury last night and unfortunately I am unable to fight Saturday. My apologies to everyone looking forward to watching me fight. This is a very tough pill to swallow, I never felt more ready to fight in my life! But we will heal up and get this fight rebooked ASAP. Thanks for all the support, I will keep you all updated. To be continued…”

There is no word yet on when Johns can expect to return to the Octagon. In his most recent appearance, ‘Chapo’ returned to the win column with a unanimous decision win against Vince Morales at UFC Fight Night: Nzechukwu vs. Cutelaba this past November. Prior to that, the Contender Series alum had a two-fight win streak snapped by John Castañeda, who submitted him via third-round arm-triangle choke. 

Barcelos has one win in his past four appearances. After starting his UFC career with five consecutive wins, the Brazilian dropped back-to-back decisions to Timur Valiev and Victor Henry at UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov and UFC 270, respectively. He ended 2022 with a win, a unanimous decision against Trevin Jones. 

Earlier this year, Barcelos suffered the first knockout loss of his career to Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Imavov. Now, the 36-year-old has to wait for his next assignment. 

The hits keep coming for Zhalgas Zhumagulov

Hours after Raoni Barcelos vs. Miles Johns was cancelled, a flyweight fight fell off UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier. For the third (!) consecutive time, Zhalgas Zhumagulov has lost an opponent in the days leading up to an event. 

Nate Maness, Rafael Estevam and now, Felipe Bunes were forced to withdraw against ‘Zhako,’ who has yet to return to the Octagon since a split decision loss to Charles Johnson this past November. Zhumagulov announced the fight cancellation on Twitter. 

“The haircut is 2-0 in the UFC even without appearing in the Octagon,” joked Zhumagulov, who is now sporting a haircut eerily similar to that of Paddy Pimblett. “Another opponent doesn’t want to take his chance and pulled out.”

Bunes has not announced a reason for his withdrawal. 

Fortunately, the UFC has found a short-notice replacement for Zhumagulov and moved him from UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier to UFC Jacksonville, where he will face Joshua Van. Marcel Dorff of Eurosport Nederland was first to report the new fight. 

Van was originally expected to compete on an upcoming season of Contender Series, but the up-and-coming prospect gets to bypass that process and go straight into the UFC. The ‘Fearless’ one is 7-1, with all of his wins coming via finish. 

The updated UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier card

With the loss of those two fights, the line-up of UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Cannonier is as follows:

Main Card

  • Middleweight: Marvin Vettori vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Lightweight: Arman Tsarukyan vs. Joaquim Silva
  • Middleweight: Armen Petrosyan vs. Christian Leroy Duncan
  • Featherweight: Pat Sabatini vs. Lucas Almeida
  • Lightweight: Manuel Torres vs. Nikolas Motta
  • Welterweight: Nicolas Dalby vs. Muslim Salikhov

Preliminary Card

  • Flyweight: Jimmy Flick vs. Alessandro Costa
  • Bantamweight: Kang Kyung-Ho vs. Cristian Quiñónez
  • Flyweight: Carlos Hernandez vs. Denys Bondar
  • Flyweight: Tereza Bledá vs. Gabriella Fernandes
  • Bantamweight: Dan Argueta vs. Ronnie Lawrence
  • Light Heavyweight: Zac Pauga vs. Modestas Bukauskas

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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