Shavkat Rakhmonov might get his UFC debut at UFC 254 after all, as Alex Oliveira has stepped in to replace Elizeu Zaleski for the October 24th fight. News of the opponent change was first reported by Natassia del Fischer of AgFight.
The matchup joins a growing lineup of fights scheduled to happen from “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Rakhmonov’s original opponent, Zaleski, withdrew from the fight earlier in the month due to injury.
Rakhmonov, a former M-1 Welterweight Champion, has had trouble finding his UFC debut opponent, with this booking being his fourth since March.
Undefeated as a pro, Rakhmonov has picked up most of his wins via stopped since his 2014 debut.
The fight joins a pay-per-view lineup which sees a lightweight championship bout in the headlining spot. Here’s the new lineup.
Bout 13: Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) vs. Justin Gaethje (22-2) (UFC Lightweight Championship)
Bout 12: Robert Whittaker (21-5) vs. Jared Cannonier (13-4) (Middleweight)
Bout 11: Alexander Volkov (31-8) vs. Walt Harris (13-8) (Heavyweight)
Bout 10: Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) vs. Lauren Murphy (13-4) (Flyweight)
Bout 9: Umar Nurmagomedov (12-0) vs. Sergey Morozov (16-3) (Bantamweight)
Bout 8: Da Un Jung (13-2) vs. Sam Alvey (33-14) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 7: Liana Jojua (8-3) vs. Miranda Maverick (7-2) (Flyweight)
Bout 6: Magomed Ankalaev (13-1) vs. Ion Cutelaba (15-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 5: Elizeu Zaleski (22-7) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0) (Welterweight)
Bout 4: Phil Hawes (8-2) vs. Jacob Malkoun (4-0) (Middleweight)
Bout 3: Stefan Struve (29-12) vs. Tai Tuivasa (10-3) (Heavyweight)
Bout 2: Casey Kenney (15-2-1) vs. Nathaniel Wood (17-4) (Catchweight 140 lbs)
Bout 1: Alex Oliviera (22-8-1) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0) (Welterweight)