UFC Paris has taken a couple of hits, but the lineup is staying mostly intact thanks to some creative matchmaking.
On Wednesday, the UFC announced that following the withdrawal of Muin Gafurov (visa issues) and Lucas Almeida (injury) from Saturday’s card, Taylor Lapilus (18-3) now fights Caolan Loughran (8-0) in a bantamweight bout, while William Gomis (12-2) fights Yanis Ghemmouri (12-1) in a featherweight bout.
Lapilus was originally scheduled to fight Gafurov, Gomis was to fight Almeida, and Loughran and Ghemmori were supposed to fight each other at 135 pounds.
This is good news for all fighters involved, especially Lapilus, who looks to make a successful return to the UFC after parting ways with the promotion in 2016. Lapilus actually left the UFC with a 3-1 record and coming off of a win and has continued to find success on the international scene where has won seven of his past eight fights.
Loughran makes his UFC debut following an impressive run in Cage Warriors, where he captured a bantamweight title and went 4-0, all by TKO.
Gomis looks to go 3-0 in the UFC after winning his first two fights for the promotion by decision, while Ghemmouri makes his first walk to the octagon on a nine-fight win streak.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.