Muslim Salikhov has withdrawn from a proposed welterweight clash against Santiago Ponzinibbio at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first event of 2021.
Salikohov announced his exit in an Instagram post, citing health issues that arose after contracting COVID-19 in September. UFC Fight Night takes place Jan. 16 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and his headlined by a featherweight bout pitting Max Holloway against Calvin Kattar. It is unclear if the promotion will seek a replacement foe for Ponzinibbio.
Salikov is currently on a four-bout winning streak in UFC competition. He last appeared at UFC 251, where he earned a split-decision triumph over Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos on July 11.
Ponzinibbio hasn’t competed in the Octagon since November 2018, when he knocked out Neil Magny in the fourth round of the UFC Fight Night 140 headliner. The 34-year-old Argentinian is currently on a seven-fight winning streak.