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Taisumov removed from UFC Boston with visa concerns: ‘USA don’t want to let me in’

UFC lightweight Mairbek Taisumov has been sidelined from UFC Fight Night 81 with visa concerns. Chris Wade will now meet Mehdi Baghdad.

Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Visa trouble has forced another Russian fighter to withdraw from a scheduled bout in the United States, as Mairbek Taisumov was removed from his lightweight contest against Chris Wade. The Chechen native was unable to secure his visa to the United States in time to fly to Boston.

BloodyElbow.com's Karim Zidan was first to report the news several days ago. Chris Wade confirmed the news on Sunday evening, while Taisumov released a statement on Monday morning.

According to sources close to the situation, Taisumov's concerns began last week when he was not given the visa on the anticipated date. He was later informed that he needed to wait until January 13-14 to know whether he got the visa. That meant Taisumov could not travel to the United States from Phuket, Thailand - he trains at Tiger Muay Thai alongside Roger Huerta -- before Wednesday or Thursday. Taisuov's best-case scenario would have been two days to acclimatize to a new country, cut weight, and fight. The UFC opted to remove Taisumov from the fight altogether.

Taisumov later released a short statement on his Instagram account:

"I'm prepared for UFC in Boston and focused on win but USA do not want to let me in (problems with getting visa)."

Former RFA lightweight champion Mehdi Baghdad stepped in on short notice to replace Taisumov against Chris Wade. The contest will take place during the preliminary portion of the UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz event.