Former World Series of Fighting standout Timur Valiev won’t make his UFC debut Saturday after all.
Two days before his UFC on ESPN+ 31 bout, Valiev (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has withdrawn from his scheduled preliminary card bout against Jamall Emmers, who is now being targeted to face promotional newcomer Vincent Cachero instead.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, including Emmers’ manager, Oren Hodak, confirmed the targeted booking to MMA Junkie on Thursday.
Emmers (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was signed to the promotion in early 2020 as a short-notice replacement to fight Giga Chikadze at UFC 248 in March. That night, Emmers had his four-fight winning streak snapped, dropping a split decision.
Cachero (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut having lost two out of his most recent three fights. A seven-fight LFA veteran, Cachero has finished four of his wins inside the distance, including his most recent victory at LFA 81 in January.
With the change, the UFC on ESPN+ 31 lineup includes:
- Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
- Joanne Calderwood vs. Jennifer Maia
- Randy Brown vs. Vicente Luque
- Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata
- Trevin Giles vs. Kevin Holland
- Jonathan Martinez vs. Frankie Saenz
- Ed Herman vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Ray Borg vs. Nate Maness
- Markus Perez vs. Eric Spicely
- Vincent Cachero vs. Jamall Emmers
- Cody Durden vs. Chris Gutierrez