Junior dos Santos has been forced to pull out of his headlining clash with Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 163 in Moscow, according to multiple reports.
Russian outlet RT Sport was first to bring word of dos Santos’ exit from the heavyweight bout. It is currently unclear if a replacement opponent is being sought for Volkov. UFC Fight Night 163 takes place at CSKA Arena in Moscow on Nov. 9 and airs on ESPN+.
According to a separate report from MMAFighting.com, dos Santos has been hospitalized for more than a week due to a serious bacterial infection in his leg. “Cigano” has reportedly undergone two procedures to treat the infected area — one to drain it and one to remove the infection.
A former heavyweight champion, dos Santos saw a three-bout winning streak snapped at UFC on ESPN 3, where he suffered a 71-second technical knockout loss to Francis Ngannou.
Volkov hasn’t competed since October 2018, when he suffered an improbable third-round knockout loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 229. That halted a six-fight winning streak for the former Bellator MMA champ.