Clay Collard won’t be making his UFC return Saturday after all.
The UFC announced Collard’s removal from the card Tuesday morning. His scheduled opponent Devonte Smith (10-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will now meet promotional newcomer Khama Worthy (14-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 241.
The specific reason for Collard’s removal was not disclosed but was attributed to “health issues.”
UFC 241 takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.
The switch-up marks the second for Smith, who was originally scheduled to face John Makdessi on the prelims. After Makdessi injured himself in late July, Collard stepped in to make his UFC return.
In the first two fights of his UFC tenure, Smith knocked out both of his opponents in swift fashion. In his promotional debut in November, “King Kage” finished TUF 22 veteran Julian Erosa via strikes in 46 seconds. His sophomore outing in February went much like the first, when Smith knocked out Dong Hyun Ma in 3:53.
His opponent, Worthy, has competed twenty times as a professional en route to joining the UFC roster. While the 32-year-old lightweight has six losses on his record, most have come against UFC past and present UFC fighters. Such names include Paul Felder, Matt Bessette, Kyle Nelson, and recently-inked Billy Quarantillo.
After he kicked off his career with a record of 9-6, Worthy has won five-straight bouts with four finishes in that stretch. In his last bout against former WSOF veteran Adam Ward, Worthy won via third-round KO.
With the change to the lineup, UFC 241 now includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
- Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis
- Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero
- Gabriel Benitez vs. Sodiq Yusuff
- Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
- Devonte Smith vs. Khama Worthy
- Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen
- Christos Giagos vs. Drakkar Klose
- Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+, 6:15 p.m. ET)
- Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel
- Brandon Davis vs. Kyung Ho Kang
- Shana Dobson vs. Sabina Mazo
- Duke Roufus: Anthony Pettis win over Nate Diaz at UFC 241 will get Conor McGregor's attention
- Daniel Cormier: 'It's going to take a very tough man to bounce back from what I do to Stipe' Miocic at UFC 241
- Nate Diaz: Anthony Pettis 'keeping me away from all the lame fighters that aren't doing (expletive)'
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Devonte Smith gets third opponent, draws promotional newcomer Khama Worthy at UFC 241