It’s UFC VEGAS 18 fight week and there are a couple of changes to note for this Saturday’s show.
First off is a cancellation. Bantamweight Andre Ewell is out of his main card matchup with Cody Stamann after testing positive for COVID-19. Michael Fiedel, PR coordinator for Ewell’s management firm Dodge Sports, released the following statement.
“Despite testing negative for COVID-19 twice following an initial positive result, Andre Ewell has been forced from his scheduled bout this weekend against Cody Stamann. This is due to the UFC health protocols, which mandate a 10-day quarantine following a positive result.
“Such a quarantine would have prevented him from being able to weigh in for his scheduled bout, precluding the fight from taking place as planned this weekend. Andre reports feeling healthy and is not currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. He hopes to compete ASAP.”
It is unknown whether or not Stamann will remain on the card. He was supposed to face Merab Dvalishvili but his own battle with COVID led to Ewell stepping in.
As for a late replacement fight, Justin Jaynes once again will get the last-minute call-up as he did when he mad his triumphant UFC debut. MMA Junkie confirmed that Jaynes will take on lightweight prospect Devonte Smith on the prelims and at a 160 lbs catchweight. Jaynes is subbing in for Alex da Silva, who withdrew due to undisclosed reasons.
Jaynes (16-6) made a big splash when he upset Frank Camacho via first-round KO last year, but he was subsequently stopped by Gavin Tucker and Gabriel Benitez. Smith (10-2) is looking to bounce back after a surprising KO loss to Khama Worthy in 2019.
What hasn’t changed thankfully is that the main event is still a big heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. The entire card will be live streamed exclusively on ESPN+.