UFC on ESPN 21 co-main event scrapped after Jamahal Hill forced to withdraw from Paul Craig bout

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Farah Hannoun and Nolan King
·2 min read
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UFC on ESPN 21 has lost its co-main event.

Scottish light heavyweight Paul Craig took to social media Wednesday to announce that his scheduled opponent Jamahal Hill has been forced out of their bout, which was set to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on March 20. As a result, Craig said, the fight has been canceled.

Craig (14-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) shared the news via his Instagram page and revealed that the pair have already agreed to rebook the fight, though “Bearjew” did not disclose the new bout date.

“Fight has been cancelled due to Hill pulling out. Rematch has been agreed. #bearjew#mma #comingforyou #bearjewjitsu#moretimetogetbetter #gutted #ufc#ufcfighter”

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Hill (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) had previously announced on Twitter on March 3 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and would assess how he was recovering before deciding whether to proceed with the bout.

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MMA Junkie subsequently confirmed Hill’s withdrawal via a second person, who wished to remain anonymous as the UFC has not officially confirmed the bout’s cancellation.

Undefeated Contender Series graduate Hill is coming off a second-round finish of former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux at UFC on ESPN 19 in December.

Craig is currently enjoying his best run of form since joining the UFC in 2016. The Coatbridge native is 3-0-1 in his past four outings and scored a significant win at UFC 255 in November, where he finished former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua via second-round TKO.

With the change, the UFC on ESPN 21 lineup now includes:

  • Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland

  • Cheyanne Buys vs. Kay Hansen

  • Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko

  • Max Griffin vs. Song Kenan

  • Gustavo Lopez vs. Adrian Yanez

  • Dricus Du Plessis vs. Trevin Giles

  • Don’Tale Mayes vs. Tai Tuivasa

  • Grant Dawson vs. Leonardo Santos

  • JP Buys vs. Bruno Silva

  • Anthony Birchak vs. Johnny Eduardo

  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Brad Riddell

  • Macy Chiasson vs. Marion Reneau