Steve Garcia illness before weigh-ins scraps fight vs. Melquizael Costa at UFC on ESPN 52

AUSTIN, Texas – It’s become a reasonably common occurrence this time of week in MMA: UFC on ESPN 52 has lost a fight the day before the event.

The featherweight bout on the preliminary card between Melquizael Costa (20-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Steve Garcia (14-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) was scrapped Friday due to a Garcia illness. UFC play-by-play voice Brendan Fitzgerald announced the news ahead of the official weigh-ins, which he emceed at the host hotel in Austin, Texas.

No further details were provided, and it is not yet known if Garcia’s illness is weight cut-related. UFC on ESPN 52 takes place Saturday at Moody Center in Austin. The main card airs on ESPN following prelims on ESPN+.

The withdrawal gives Garcia back-to-back pullouts. He dropped out of an August fight with Sean Woodson on less than three weeks’ notice. Garcia was trying to build on consecutive upset stoppages of Chase Hooper and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke. The Hooper TKO in 92 seconds earned him a $50,000 performance bonus.

Costa was looking to put together a new winning streak after a win over Austin Lingo in July got him back on track. In January, he tapped to a Thiago Moises rear-naked choke in the second round in his UFC debut.

With the change, the UFC on ESPN 52 lineup now includes:


  • Beneil Dariush vs. Arman Tsarukyan

  • Bobby Green vs. Jalin Turner

  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Rob Font

  • Sean Brady vs. Kelvin Gastelum

  • Clay Guida vs. Joaquim Silva

  • Punahele Soriano vs. Dustin Stoltzfus


  • Julia Avila vs. Miesha Tate

  • Cody Brundage vs. Zach Reese

  • Drakkar Klose vs. Joe Solecki

  • Rodolfo Bellato vs. Ihor Potieria

  • Jared Gooden vs. Wellington Turman

  • Veronica Hardy vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 52.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie