Elizeu Zaleski will make his long-awaited return to the cage after a 20-month hiatus when he faces Abubakar Nurmagomedov at UFC Vegas 74. According to MMA Fighting, Cristiano Marcello, Zaleski’s coach, confirmed the news following a report by Canal Encarada.
Zaleski’s suspension was due to testing positive for ostarine in 2022, which prompted a one-year USADA suspension and a nine-month ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Despite his team’s efforts to prove a contaminated supplement was the cause, the Brazilian pharmacy involved refused to admit guilt, resulting in a sanction.
Zaleski’s most recent bout in October 2021 saw him score a decisive points victory over Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 267 after losing a close decision to Muslim Salikhov. The Brazilian fighter has won nine of his last 11 UFC discussions, including triumphs over Sean Strickland, Max Griffin, and Alexey Kunchenko.
Nurmagomedov, cousin to former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, holds a record of 17-3-1 and has a UFC ledger of 2-1, with wins over Jared Gooden and Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via decisions, and a defeat in his inaugural outing to David Zawada.
Marcello expressed his excitement at Zaleski’s return, highlighting his history of collecting bonuses in the UFC and never being in a boring fight. He also affirmed his confidence that Zaleski would come back stronger than ever, ready to take on Nurmagomedov in what is expected to be a tough bout.
UFC Vegas 74, headlined by middleweights Jack Hermansson and Brendan Allen, will take place on June 3, 2022, at the UFC APEX.