Chris Wade was offered his upcoming bout as an injury replacement, but now it appears his scheduled opponent will be replaced himself.
Wade, the former state champion wrestler from Islip, will no longer face Mairbek Taisumov next Sunday at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston, the fighter announced on social media. He will now fight Medhi Baghdad, the current RFA lightweight champion and a competitor on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Wade (10-1, 3-0 UFC) was slated to fight Taisumov in place of an injured Beniel Dariush, who pulled from the bout last month. Wade’s post cites “unforeseen issues” that forced his opponent to withdraw, and a report by Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan cites visa problems for Russia’s Taisumov as the issue.
France’s Baghdad (11-3) was a member of Team McGregor on the 22nd season of The Ultimate Fighter and will be making his UFC debut in Boston. He won his first fight on the show against Artem Lobov, who later competed in the show’s live finale, in a two-round majority decision. Baghdad then lost to Julian Erosa in another two-round majority decision in the show’s elimination round.
Prior to competing on the show, Baghdad was crowned RFA lightweight champion in December 2014, defeating Zach Juusola via TKO in the fourth round. He currently is riding a seven-fight winning streak dating back to March 2012.