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UFC flyweight contender requests release, says he ‘received positive response’

The UFC flyweight division may be getting smaller. 

UFC 259: Benavidez v Askarov Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It appears as though Askar Askarov is leaving the UFC.

The ‘Bullet’ announced on Saturday that he requested his release from the promotion because of recent health concerns. No details were provided, but it should be noted that Askarov was forced out of a scheduled fight with Brandon Royval at UFC Vegas 62 over weight-related issues.

“Due to the fact that my return was delayed for health reasons and this was my last fight under the contract, I asked the UFC to release me,” wrote Askarov in Russian on Instagram. “To which, I received a positive response.

“First, let’s put health in order, and then we’ll see what and how,” continued Askarov.

Askarov went 11-0 as a professional before signing with the UFC three years ago. The former ACB flyweight champion fought to a split draw with Brandon Moreno in his first Octagon appearance. He rattled off three consecutive wins over the likes of Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and Joseph Benavidez, but his newfound momentum would soon come to a halt.

Following his unanimous decision over Benavidez, the No. 4 flyweight withdrew from a fight against Alex Perez, citing an undisclosed injury sustained in training. He was booked in a potential No. 1 contender against Kai Kara-France at UFC Columbus, where he suffered the first loss of his professional career.

From there, Askarov has yet to return to the Octagon. After fights with the aforementioned Perez and Royval fell through, the 30-year-old has decided to get his affairs in order before returning to competition.

Askarov leaves with an overall record of 14-1-1.