It doesn’t matter how hard you work ... sometimes things are out of our control. His plan not mine. I hope to still be fighting before the year ends. Sorry @drewdober hope we will meet in the octagon soon #family #ufcfightnight #2020 #rgvfighters #tfbjj #fortismma #bless #mma pic.twitter.com/LkS863Rvgk— Diego Ferreira (@DiegoUFCTX) October 23, 2020
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Late on Thursday, MyMMANews first reported that Diego Ferreira (17-2) would no longer be competing at UFC on ESPN 17 against Drew Dober (23-9, 1 NC). The two were coming to blows on Nov. 7 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, in a bout featured on the main card. Conflicting reports have claimed that Ferreira suffered an illness that may or may not be related to COVID-19, while others indicate that it was an arm injury that forced Ferreira out. Ferreira confirmed on his Instagram on Thursday night that he was out of the bout, but did not specify a reason. The promotion is actively seeking a replacement, but it may opt to reschedule the pairing for a later date.
“It doesn’t matter how hard you work,” Ferreira wrote. “Sometimes things are out of your control. His [God] plan not mine. I hope to still be fighting before the year ends. Sorry Drew Dober, hope we will meet in the Octagon soon.“
The Brazilian out of Texas has been on a tear the last few years, with six consecutive wins and the most recent of which a submission of Anthony Pettis in January. Although a failed drug test in late 2016 kept him out of action for nearly a year and a half, Ferreira has come back to beat Jared Gordon, Kyle Nelson, Rustam Khabilov, Mairbek Taisumov and Pettis in rapid succession. Both he and Dober were originally booked to face one another in May, but when the event was scrapped, it was pushed to November.
Dober is also on an impressive run since early 2019. Bouncing back from a submission loss to Beneil Dariush, Dober drummed out Marco Polo Reyes, Nasrat Haqparast and Alexander Hernandez all within two rounds with strikes. His three-fight win streak is the longest he has ridden since a five-win stretch in 2012 and 2013 to get signed to the UFC. Although he has won six of seven dating back to 2017, his past three defeats all came by submission.
UFC on ESPN 17 goes down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where it will be topped by a light heavyweight thriller and title eliminator between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira. The co-headlining bout will likely be a middleweight matchup between Ian Heinisch and Brendan Allen, while Claudia Gadelha squares off with Xiaonan Yan at women’s strawweight earlier on the main card.