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UFC Vegas 14 news: Julian Marquez's fight with Saparbek Safarov off due to the latter's failure to cut weight

Julian Marquez (right) amazed one and all with his thunderous head kick KO win back in 2017
Julian Marquez (right) amazed one and all with his thunderous head kick KO win back in 2017
Johny Payne
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 04:22 IST
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The UFC has put forth an official announcement via its website, noting that the middleweight bout between Julian Marquez and Saparbek Safarov, which was set to take place at UFC Vegas 14, has been canceled.

According to the announcement, owing to “weight management issues” on part of Safarov, the middleweight fight has been scrapped from the UFC Vegas 14 fight card.

Julian Marquez and Saparbek Safarov were set to compete in an exciting clash of styles

Julian Marquez last competed in July 2018, suffering a split decision loss to Alessio Di Chirico.

Prior to his loss to Chirico, Marquez was riding high on several impressive wins, two of the most notable among them being a head kick KO victory over Phil Hawes in August 2017 and a guillotine choke submission win over Darren Stewart in December 2017.

Saparbek Safarov, meanwhile, last competed in March of 2020 in a fight that was his middleweight debut, having moved down from the light heavyweight division.

Safarov lost to Rodolfo Vieira via an arm-triangle choke submission in the first round of his aforementioned fight in March. He has been looking to return to the win column ever since.

The match-up between Julian Marquez and Saparbek Safarov was regarded as an exciting clash of styles between two fighters who are known to pursue the finish, oftentimes at the expense of their own defense.

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Marquez’s long-awaited return to the Octagon against Safarov was set to transpire at UFC Vegas 14 (UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. Dos Anjos) on November 14th, 2020.

However, this wasn’t the first time that Marquez and Safarov were booked to fight one another. They were initially set to fight at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic in August 2020.

Nevertheless, due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Safarov – an MMA fighter who hails from Russia – was unable to make it to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Their fight booking in August 2020 fell apart due to the travel restrictions issue, and after being rebooked to fight on November 14th, the Marquez vs. Safarov bout has now been canceled yet again.

As of this time, the UFC is yet to reveal whether or not they intend to add another fight to UFC Vegas 14’s main card, as due to the Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov fight’s cancelation, the main card now has only four fights.

UFC Vegas 14 will be headlined by elite lightweight competitors Paul Felder and Rafael dos Anjos facing off in a high-profile fight that Felder notably accepted on less than a week’s notice.

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Would you like to see Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov rebooked for the third time? Should Julian Marquez and Saparbek Safarov be booked against other opponents? Sound off in the comments.

Published 14 Nov 2020, 04:22 IST
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