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Justin Jaynes becomes latest fighter to get short notice UFC callup

The Xtreme Couture fighter is set to take on Frank Camacho at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Volkov, this Saturday—following Matt Frevola’s removal from the card due to Covid concerns.

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UFC Fight Night Blaydes v Volkov: Weigh-Ins Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

One of the fundamental stories in sports is that one person’s loss is always another’s gain. Not just in the bigger picture of victory or defeat on the playing field, but for any athlete traded, cut, or even injured someone else gets the opportunity to shine in their place. For Justin Jaynes, the circumstances of his shot in the UFC are stranger than most.

Matt Frevola had been set to fight Frank Camacho on the undercard of this weekend’s ESPN fight night, featuring a heavyweight title between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. Unfortunately for Frevola, his cornerman - fellow UFC fighter Billy Quarantillo - tested positive for COVID-19. Out of a reasonable sense of caution, Frevola was removed from the fight card—leaving the UFC with just two days to find a replacement, or scrap the bout altogether.

Fortunately for the promotion, Justin Jaynes (15-4) was ready to take the call. The Xtreme Couture athlete has been a competitor for WSOF and Bellator in the past, but most recently put together a rock solid 3-0 run for Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting, picking up the promotion’s lightweight title in the process. ‘Guitar Hero’ hasn’t competed for over a year now, stretching back to his April 2019 KO win over James Warfield-Lane.

Before transitioning to MMA, Jaynes wrestled for NCAA D-III Olivet College, alongside Daron Cruickshank. And while he clearly has a decent front headlock game and some rock solid control on the mat, most of his game at the moment appears to be focused on a power-boxing style. How much of that he maintains against a brawler like Camacho should be interesting to see.

UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Volkov takes place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, June 20th. Jaynes vs. Camacho is set for the prelims portion of the event, airing on ESPN & ESPN+, starting at 5pm EST.