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With Raulian Paiva out, Zhalgas Zhumagulov steps in to face Amir Albazi at UFC’s Nov. 28 event

Amir Albazi has a new opponent, and he’ll go from A to Z in November.

With Raulian Paiva (20-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) out of UFC on ESPN+ 39 later this month, Albazi (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) now is set to take on Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at flyweight at the UFC’s Nov. 28 event. Albazi announced the new booking and date on social media Friday. The UFC has not yet made a formal announcement.

The UFC’s Nov. 28 event takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card is expected to air and stream on a combination of ESPN and ESPN+. In a statistical oddity, the new booking is between a fighter whose first and last names begin with A, and one whose first and last names begin with Z.

Zhumagulov will be looking to rebound from, coincidentally, a loss to Paiva at UFC 251 in July. The unanimous decision setback snapped a four-fight winning streak that included two flyweight title bout wins for Fight Nights Global.

Albazi will bring a two-fight winning streak into the bout, including a first-round submission win over Malcolm Gordon in his UFC debut in July. The London-based fighter has 12 of his 13 career wins by stoppage.

Paiva was looking to extend a modest two-fight winning streak that came on the heels of losses in his first two UFC bouts. He knocked out Mark De La Rosa in February at UFC on ESPN+ 25 and had the aforementioned decision win over Zhumagulov in July. But now his quest for three in a row is on hold.

With the addition, the UFC’s Nov. 28 lineup now includes:

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis
  • Jonathan Pearce vs. Sean Woodson
  • Norma Dumont vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
  • Josh Parisian vs. Parker Porter
  • Gina Mazany vs. Rachael Ostovich
  • Malcolm Gordon vs. Su Mudaerji
  • Rafael Fiziev vs. Renato Moicano
  • Devin Clark vs. Anthony Smith
  • Amir Albazi vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
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