Fight cancellations hit UFC Paris *UPDATED

Two more fights have been scratched from UFC Paris as the day of the event approaches.

By: Zane Simon | 1 month ago
Fight cancellations hit UFC Paris *UPDATED
UFC Paris fighter Taylor Lapilus. - Per Haljestam IMAGO/USA TODAY

It’s fight week (again) for the UFC, which means it’s also time for the last minute fight cancellations to start rolling in. Who’s come down with a sudden illness, who has visa troubles, who had the nagging injury that just didn’t heal the way it should have? And of course, who just picked up a devastating injury in their final training sessions?

With the world’s largest MMA promotion gearing up for what’s only their second event ever in France (and their first of 2023) we’ve got news of a couple unfortunate cancellations that have hit the card.

Taylor Lapilus needs a new opponent for UFC Paris

At one point Taylor Lapilus was one of the hottest prospects in the UFC’s bantamweight division, running out to a 3-1 record with the promotion before making the decision to return to the regional MMA scene. In a move that surprised practically everyone, however, the then-25-year-old Frenchman decided to fight out his contract in the Octagon and make the jump over to boxing instead.

“I will probably be back in the UFC at some point of my career,” Lapilus explained in a 2017 interview. “But for now, I will stick to boxing and keep my focus in my new professional career for a couple fights and see how things go.”

The boxing career lasted just one fight, a 2017 win over journeyman Heri Andriyanto, before Lapilus decided to return to MMA full time. Getting back to the UFC would take more than half a decade (and a 7-1 record on the European regional scene) but Lapilus is finally set make his comeback this Saturday. Or, at least he was…

Lapilus had been set to take on former ONE FC talent Muin Gafurov at the Accor Arena in Paris on the undercard of this weekend’s heavyweight top contender’s bout between Ciryl Gane and Sergey Spivak. Unfortunately, French fight promotion and MMA news source La Sueur has reported that Gafurov has been forced out of the fight. Apparently visa issues were the culprit.

MMA Fighting has since confirmed the report, noting that the UFC is searching for a late notice replacement to keep Lapilus on the card. It’s an especially unfortunate set of circumstances for ‘Double Impact’ who was actually signed for his Octagon return back in 2022, for the UFC’s debut in Paris. Unfortunately an injury sustained in training forced Lapilus to withdraw from that bout.

William Gomis also in need of new opponent

It turns out that Lapilus isn’t the only Frenchman in sudden need of a new dance partner this week. Joining him in the struggle is a featherweight who did manage to make his debut on last year’s Paris card, former 100% Fight champion William Gomis.

Gomis has run out to a decent 2-0 start to his career in the UFC, with victories over Jarno Errens and Francis Marshall. The 26-year-old had been expected to take on former Jungle Fight champion Lucas Almeida. Unfortunately, the Brazilian announced the fight’s cancellation in a post to his Instagram stories on Monday, August 28th.

“Good morning everyone my fight was canceled, God is in charge. He has huge plans for me, I have faith in him. The work continues, let’s go! Thank you all for the messages.”

MMA Fighting has since confirmed that an injury has forced Almeida to withdraw from the bout, and that there is currently no word from the UFC as to whether Gomis will remain on the card with a new opponent, or not.

Other earlier cancelled fights include Volkan Oezdemir against Azamat Murzakanov (Murzakanov has been replaced by newcomer Bogdan Guskov), Zara Fairn vs. Hailey Cowan (Cowan has been replaced by Jacqueline Cavalcanti), and Nasrat Haqparast vs. Sam Patterson (Haqparast has been moved to UFC 293 against Landon Quinones). Hopefully that will mark an end to the cancellations and we can get to Fight Night with the rest of the bouts intact.

Update: Instead of finding two new faces to fill the card this weekend, the UFC has decided to match Taylor Lapilus and William Gomis against two newcomers who were already scheduled to meet each other on the card. Lapilus is now scheduled to fight Caolan Loughran and Gomis is matched with Yanis Ghemmouri.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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