Vaunted submission master Aleksei Oleinik (59-15-1 MMA, 8-6 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from next week’s UFC 270 event, but a replacement has already been secured.
MMA Junkie learned Thursday from two people with knowledge of the booking who that Serghei Spivac (13-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has agreed to step in on short notice and will now face Greg Hardy (7-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) at the event. The two people requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Featuring a pair of championship matchups atop the bill, UFC 270 takes place Jan. 22 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The night’s main card streams live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Spivac last saw action in September, suffering a first-round TKO loss to top prospect Tom Aspinall. Prior to the setback, Spivac owned a three-fight winning streak that included Oleinik, Jared Vanderaa and Carlos Felipe.
Meanwhile, Hardy, a controversial former NFL standout, has suffered knockout losses against Tai Tuivasa and Marcin Tybura in his past two outings. The setbacks come after Hardy has earned consecutive wins over Maurice Greene and Yorgan de Castro.
With the change to the lineup, UFC 270 now includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Francis Ngannou vs. Interim champ Ciryl Gane – to unify heavyweight title
- Champ Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo – for flyweight title
- Ilia Topuria vs. opponent TBA
- Greg Hardy vs. Serghei Spivac
- Said Nurmagomedov vs. Cody Stamann
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
- Wellington Turman vs. Rodolfo Vieira
- Tony Gravely vs. Saimon Oliveira
- Jack Della Maddalena vs. opponent TBA
- Andre Fialho vs. Michel Pereira
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
- Raoni Barcelos vs. Victor Henry
- Trevin Giles vs. Michael Morales
- Matt Frevola vs. Genaro Valdez
- Kay Hansen vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius
- Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez