Evan Dunham says Olivier Aubin-Mercier is replacing Mairbek Taisumov at UFC 223

It didn’t take long for Evan Dunham to find a replacement opponent after Mairbek Taisumov was officially ruled out of UFC 223.

Replacing Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at next month’s event will be “The Ultimate Fighter: Nations” finalist Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), according to a post on Dunham’s (18-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) social media (via Twitter):

UFC 223 takes place April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dunham vs. Aubin-Mercier airs on the FS1-televised prelims following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass and prior to the pay-per-view main card.

Taisumov’s inability to get a U.S. visa approved in time for UFC 223 was the reason for his withdraw. The left Dunham, who is unbeaten over his past five bouts in the lightweight division, without an opponent for the card.

Fortunately for him, Aubin-Mercier was in-shape and available. The Canadian was supposed to fight at UFC on FOX 27 in February, but his matchup against Gilbert Burns was scratched early in fight week when Burns reportedly checked in with UFC officials at nearly 30 pounds over weight.

With the replacement, the UFC 223 card is now finalized with 13 bouts:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – for lightweight title
  • Champ Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk – for women’s strawweight title
  • Calvin Kattar vs. Renato Moicano
  • Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta


  • Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno
  • Devin Clark vs. Michael Rodriguez
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Evan Dunham

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Alex Caceres vs. Artem Lobov
  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov

For more on UFC 223, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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