Well, this sucks. Bryce Mitchell has pulled out of his UFC 288 bout against Movsar Evloev.
The news broke when ESPN Deportes reported that Mitchell is out due to an undisclosed injury. Many are speculating that the odd markings on his body seen on UFC Embedded may have something to do with it. But, it's Bryce Mitchell, odd things are to be expected and we wouldn't have it any other way.
This would've been Mitchell's rebound fight since suffering his first defeat at the hands of the undefeated Ilia Topuria. This fight was back in December of last year. Mitchell claimed that he was not at 100% going into this fight, which he lost via second round submission.
Bryce Mitchell is Out. So, Who's The New Guy?
UFC 288 will move on without Bryce Mitchell. But, Movsar Evloev is set to remain on the card, thanks to Diego Lopes. Lopes fought on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series and put on a great performance. However, he was down on the scorecards prior to falling victim to a fight-ending eye poke and lost via technical unanimous decision just seconds into the third round.
Now that Diego gets his chance in the UFC, what should fans expect? Glad you asked. What Diego brings to the table is some heavy hands, a great finishing ability, and something that could play really well into this fight, is a very active guard. He's on a two fight winning streak right now and has finished both of these bouts via strikes. On just five days' notice.
This isn't a typical short notice UFC debut. Similar to Arman Tsarukyan taking on Islam Makhachev on short notice, Lopes is going against a top fighter. Evloev is sitting pretty, ranked at number ten in the featherweight division. He's 16-0 with his last winning coming against Dan Ige.
Yes, it's quite the bummer that Bryce Mitchell pulled out, and we wish him a speedy recovery. But, let's look at this with a “glass half full” mindset; Movsar Evloev is still on the card, and we get to see the 28 year old Diego Lopes try and make the most out of this opportunity.