Visa issues force Mairbek Taisumov out of UFC Fight Night 81; Mehdi Baghdad steps in against Chris Wade

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

In some unfortunate news for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 event, 27-year-old Mairbek Taisumov will be unable to compete on the card after he was unable to secure a work visa to enter the U.S.

Taisumov’s scheduled opponent, Chris Wade, revealed on Sunday night that he’ll now be facing Ultimate Fighter 22 competitor Mehdi Baghdad on the preliminary card in Boston.

Taisumov is 4-1 in the UFC thus far, but all of his UFC fights have come on cards outside of the U.S. This would have been his first bout in the U.S. since a July 2011 M-1 Challenge event in California.

As for Wade, he’s won five straight fights into this event, including all three of his fights in the Octagon. He most recently defeated Christos Giagos in June. Baghdad steps in for his UFC debut after not getting a fight out of this past season of the reality series. A member of Team McGregor, Baghdad’s professional record sits at 11-3, and he’s won seven straight into this matchup.

Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 event is headlined by the UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, and airs live on Fox Sports 1.

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