Brazilian fighter Rafael Estevam has been forced to delay his UFC debut due to difficulties managing his weight, which led to the cancellation of his planned fight against Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC 288. The news was announced during the weigh-ins on Friday, marking the second fight cancellation from the event in two days.
Estevam secured his place in the UFC after impressing during Dana White’s Contender Series in September of last year, which marked his 11th consecutive win as a professional fighter. Originally set to fight Carlos Candelario in April, Estevam was moved to the UFC 288 card following Candelario’s injury.
Meanwhile, Zhumagulov was looking to end a three-fight losing streak, but will now have to wait for another opportunity to do so. The 34-year-old fighter was hoping to bounce back from two consecutive split decision losses to Jeff Molina and Charles Johnson, as well as a stoppage defeat to Manel Kape.
Despite the setback, UFC 288 will still feature 12 exciting fights, including the main event between bantamweight champions Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo.