UFC reverses course, won't cut Azaitar for violating COVID-19 protocols
Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

The UFC is reversing course and choosing not to release Ottman Azaitar after he violated COVID-19 protocols on Fight Island in January.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Saturday he is giving the undefeated lightweight "a second chance" in the promotion.

White said in January the UFC was cutting Azaitar for helping an outsider enter the promotion's bubble in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 31-year-old was scheduled to face Matt Frevola at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, but the UFC canceled the fight and removed him from the Fight Island safety zone due to the violation.

Azaitar's manager Ali Abdelaziz told Okamoto the situation was a "misunderstanding," adding that the UFC never officially removed the fighter from its roster.

Azaitar signed with the promotion in 2019. He holds a 2-0 record in the Octagon and has ended both of his appearances via first-round knockout.

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UFC reverses course, won't cut Azaitar for violating COVID-19 protocols
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