Clay Collard released by UFC again; will box on Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard

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Clay Collard’s second UFC stint was over before it began.

In August, “Cassius” stepped in to face Devonte Smith on short notice at UFC 241 in what was supposed to be his first UFC fight in over four years.

However just days later, Collard withdrew from the contest for unknown reasons. A person with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie that Collard was released immediately following the withdrawal.

Collard’s next fight won’t be inside the cage, but instead inside the boxing ring. The Utah-born fighter will compete on the undercard of Saturday’s Golden Boy Promotions event headlined by “Canelo” Saul Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev. Collard will take on undefeated Uzbekistani fighter Bektemir Melikuziev (2-0). The bout will be an eight-round, light heavyweight contest.

The fight will be Collard’s ninth career pro boxing match. He currently holds a 4-1-3 record and is riding a three-fight win streak.

Collard made his UFC debut in August 2014 against future-champ Max Holloway. A relative unknown, Collard garnered attention for his high-paced, funky fighting style. He picked up his first promotional victory at UFC 181 in December 2014 when he defeated Alex White by unanimous decision.

After back-to-back decision losses to Gabriel Benitez and Tiago Trator, the featherweight fighter Collard was released from the UFC in late 2015. Three years later, he returned to MMA competition on the regional scene. Four wins in five fights punched the aforementioned ticket back to the big show.

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