One of the breakout stars of the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island is looking for lightning to strike twice.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Mounir Lazzez will be stepping in on short notice to face Warlley Alves in a welterweight bout at UFC Fight Island 8, replacing Christian Aguilera who was forced to withdraw from the event for undisclosed reasons. The event takes place Jan. 20 in Abu Dhabi and will stream on ESPN+.
MMA Junkie was first to report the switch.
Lazzez made his octagon debut in July at UFC on ESPN 13 and, as a nearly 3-1 underdog, defeated Abdul Razak Alhassan via unanimous decision. “The Sniper” was originally scheduled to face David Zawada in October but was scratched due to a positive COVID-19 test. Lazzez enters the fight a winner of his last three, and 10 of 11 overall.
Alves is looking to get back on track following a second-round submission loss to Randy Brown at UFC Sao Paulo in November 2019. The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 winner has been finished in two of his last three, but does hold seven wins inside the octagon, including victories over Colby Covington and Alan Jouban.