Steve Garcia’s Last Minute Withdrawal Due to Illness Disappoints Fans at UFC on ESPN 52

AUSTIN, Texas – It’s a typical occurrence in the world of MMA: UFC on ESPN 52 has lost a fight just on the eve of the event.

Unfortunately, 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 canceled due to Garcia’s illness. UFC play-by-play voice Brendan Fitzgerald delivered the disappointing news ahead of the official weigh-ins, which he emceed at the host hotel in Austin, Texas.

Further particulars regarding Garcia’s illness remain undisclosed, and it is yet to be determined if it is related to his weight cut. The UFC on ESPN 52 event is scheduled to take place Saturday at Moody Center in Austin. The main card will be aired on ESPN following prelims on ESPN+.

Garcia’s withdrawal is his second consecutive. He withdrew from an August fight with Sean Woodson on less than three weeks’ notice. However, 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.

Meanwhile, Costa was eager to establish a new winning streak following his victory over Austin Lingo in July. Earlier in January, he tapped in his UFC debut to a Thiago Moises rear-naked choke in the second round.

With this change, the UFC on ESPN 52 lineup now features:


  • 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


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