Morning Report: The contents of Ottman Azaitar’s mystery bag finally revealed

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UFC Fight Night: Azaitar v Worthy
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

At UFC 257, Ottman Azaitar was scheduled to face Matt Frevola in a bout that was supposed to move the highly-touted prospect up the ladder towards ranked opposition. However, the bout never ended up taking place because before the official weigh-ins for the event, Azaitar was removed from the card for violating the COVID-19 health and safety protocols of the event, that went on to become one of the great mysteries in MMA.

According to UFC President Dana White, Azaitar and his team were caught removing the wrist-bands that indicated they were properly vetted and allowed in “The Bubble” in Abu Dhabi and gave them to somebody outside of it. That person then entered the bubble with a bag of unknown contents, “shimmied across four balconies, went in his room dropped the bag off, changed his clothes, and then left.” As a result, Azaitar was released from the UFC and the legend of Azaitar’s bag and what was contained therein was born. Well, know the legend has an answer.

“Potatoes,” Azaitar’s manager Ali Abdelaziz told Kevin Iole (h/t MMA Junkie) recently. “It was potatoes in the bag.”

Whether that answer is true or not remains anyone’s guess and speculation will surely continue about what was in the bag; however, it may die down some as the controversy surrounding Azaitar’s visitor has abated since then. Last month, the UFC decided to reconsider releasing Azaitar for knowingly breaching Fight Island’s COVID-19 protocols, giving the fighter a second chance with the organization, something Abdelaziz says he and his client are grateful for.

“He didn’t lose the job,” Abdelaziz said. “At the end of the day, it was almost like an investigation. Dana looked over it. He’s a great kid, everybody loves him, all the UFC staff loves him. Some people got involved, Dana was involved. Listen, when you have Dana White himself handling certain situations, it’s a serious situation. At the end of the day, if they find out whatever they think he did or didn’t do, he’s good enough as a person to get a second shot. He got a second shot at it, and he’s looking to get a fight right now.

“He’s a UFC fighter. He was never cut officially from the UFC. Let’s remember when you have media start asking about stuff, Dana wears his heart on his sleeve. Nobody can violate the bubble. I don’t think everything that happened was intentional. At the end of the day, it’s over. I’m not saying who’s wrong or who’s right. Dana thankfully brought him back, and everything is good.”

Everything does appear to be good for Azaitar, at least for the moment. Azaitar is in attendance for UFC 259 and yesterday seemed to be in excellent spirits about his return from the brink.

Azaitar is currently 13-0 in MMA and the former Brave FC Lightweight champion.


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LISTEN UP

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Paul Daley (42-17-2) vs. Sabah Homasi (15-8); Bellator 257, Apr. 16.

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Josh Parisian (13-4) vs. Roque Martinez (15-7-2); UFC Fight Night, June 19.


FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s good to have friends in high places.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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