Thomas Almeida will still get to compete on “Fight Island,” but it will be one week later than originally expected.
Alejandro Perez has been forced out of the UFC’s Oct. 10 event due to a positive COVID-19 test and Jonathan Martinez (12-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will now step in to face Almeida (21-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) one week later at UFC on ESPN+ 38, which takes place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Multiple people with knowledge of the situation recently informed MMA Junkie of the booking but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Almeida hasn’t fought since his second-round stoppage loss to Rob Font in January 2018 and returns after an almost three-year long layoff due to an eye injury that required surgery. The long-hyped prospect has earned a bonus in all five of his UFC wins.
Winner of his past three of four, Factory X’s Martinez is coming off a third-round finish of Frankie Saenz at UFC on ESPN+ 31 in August.
With the addition, the UFC on ESPN+ 38 lineup includes:
- Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung
- Ante Delija vs. Ciryl Gane
- Jessica Andrade vs. Katlyn Chookagian
- Modestas Bukauskas vs. Jimmy Crute
- Thomas Almeida vs. Jonathan Martinez
- David Zawada vs. opponent TBA
- Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze
- Poliana Botelho vs. Gillian Robertson
- James Krause vs. Claudio Silva
- Jun Yong Park vs. John Phillips
- Jamie Mullarkey vs. Fares Ziam
- Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Maxim Grishin
- Said Nurmagomedov vs. Mark Striegl