UFC Fight Night: Auckland is going to feel a tad bit lighter after Thibault Gouti was removed from the card just hours before the start of the event.
Gouti (11-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC), who was set take on Dong Hyun Kim (14-8-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Pass prelims, was pulled from the event at the behest of medical professionals.
UFC released a statement to give the reasoning for the fight's cancelation.
“On the advice of physicians, and with the athlete's health and safety in mind, UFC has removed Thibault Gouti from his bout today against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt in Auckland, New Zealand due to illness"
UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt will proceed with 11 bouts.”
The bout between Gouti and Kim was set to open the night of fights from Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Gouti had yet to earn a victory in the octagon for the UFC as he's lost all three of his contests via stoppage. It's unclear as to what cause Gouti to become too ill to fight at the show, but it does add to the questions surrounding his UFC future.
With the fight now off, the UFC early prelims won't start on UFC Fight Pass until 7:30pm ET when JJ Aldrich battles Chan-Mi Jeon in a Strawweight fight.
The main prelims begin at 8pm ET on Fox Sports 1 followed by the main card at 10pm ET on the same network. Stick with Fightful.com for full coverage of the night's fights.