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Bryce Mitchell out of UFC 288, replacement opponent found

Fans of UFC 288 were eagerly anticipating the matchup between featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Movsar Evloev, but unfortunately, Mitchell has been forced to withdraw from the fight due to undisclosed reasons. However, the UFC has found a replacement in the form of Diego Lopes, who will step in to face Evloev on five days short notice on May 7th.

Uncertain circumstances led to Mitchell's abrupt departure from UFC 288. This past Saturday was used to shoot the premiere of "Embedded," which features Mitchell on his farm near Searcy, Arkansas. His elbow and shoulder appeared damaged or purplish as he steps into an ice bath, although Mitchell did not claim that he had been harmed.

“It’s been a long, hard training camp,” Mitchell said to the camera. “Everything in training went really good. I’m excited, I’m healthy, I’m in great shape.”

Jonathan Pearce had been scheduled to meet Mitchell at UFC 288, but Pearce pulled out due to injuries last month. Mitchell intended to bounce back after his very first UFC setback. Bryce Mitchell was defeated in a second round via submission to Ilia Toupria back at UFC 282 in December.

Movsar Evloev (16-0) is freshly off a unanimous decision victory over Dan Ige and has a flawless 6-0 record in the UFC. Jonathan Pearce's sudden withdrawal from the battle against Mitchell prompted Evloev to accept this fight with barely a month's notification, but he now has to take on a brand-new opponent. Evloev has impressive victories in the UFC, including victories over Hakeem Dawodu, Nik Lentz, and Enrique Barzola. He is rated #10 in featherweight as well.

With only five days' notice, Lopes is scheduled for his UFC debut. He possesses an ultimate record of 21-5 and has triumphed in three of his last four fights. When he competed in Dana White's Contender Series in 2021 and lost to Joanderson Brito, he was unable to get a deal with the UFC. Lopes is also a training partner of UFC champion Alexa Grasso.

Although the matchup between Mitchell and Evloev was highly anticipated, the replacement fight between Evloev and Lopes is still an exciting prospect. Both fighters are known for their skills in different areas, with Lopes' striking ability potentially being matched up against Evloev's grappling prowess.


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