Report – Askar Askarov pulls out of UFC Long Island: Ortega vs. Rodriguez bout against Alex Perez

Heading into a fight against Deiveson Figueiredo in late 2020, it seemed like Alex Perez was poised to be a player in the UFC’s flyweight division for years to come. He was 6-1 inside the Octagon, with his lone loss coming to perennial title contender Joseph Benavidez.

Even a quick submission loss to Figueiredo didn’t exactly feel like a death sentence in a division that has long struggled to find new contenders and given multiple opportunities to fighters who could put together more wins than losses on a consistent basis. Almost two years later, however, and fans could be forgiven for carving Perez out of the contender’s circle altogether, even while he retains his #6 ranking in the division.

Perez is now facing his sixth straight canceled UFC booking, with the recent report that Askar Askarov has withdrawn from his planned July 16th bout against the Team Oyama talent.

Perez and Askarov were first set to face off in July of 2021, before an injury forced Askarov off that card. The UFC then tried to book Perez against Matt Schnell for September (a fight they had previously targeted for May), but that fight was pushed back to December for undisclosed reasons. Unfortunately a fight week medical issue with Schnell delayed the booking again to February of this year, at which point Perez missed weight and the fight was abandoned altogether.

Due to the repeated cancellations, Perez has not competed since losing to Figueiredo back in late 2020. Hopefully the UFC can find a replacement bout to keep him on the Long Island Fight Night event. At this point just getting to step in the cage seems like it’d be a pretty big success story.

UFC on ABC 3 takes place at the UBS Arena in Elmont, NY. The card is expected to be headlined by a featherweight top contender’s bout between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.

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