Floyd Mayweather protege Makhmud Muradov steps in to fight Trevor Smith at UFC on ESPN 7

Makhmud Muradov, the first MMA fighter managed by Floyd Mayweather’s “Money Team,” has signed to compete in his second UFC bout.

The Uzbekistani middleweight Muradov replaces Alonzo Menifield against Trevor Smith at UFC on ESPN 7, the promotion announced in an Instagram post Thursday. No reason for Menifield’s withdrawal was given.

UFC on ESPN 7 takes place Dec. 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The main card airs on ESPN after prelims on ESPN+.

In September, Muradov (23-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC on ESPN+ 18 in Copenhagen. In a close three-round battle against Italy’s Alessio Di Chirico, Muradov earned the nod from all three judges. The victory was his 12th straight – a streak that extends back to December 2016.

A veteran of 15 UFC appearances, Smith (15-9 MMA, 7-8 UFC) will look to turn around his recent bad luck. “Hot Sauce” Smith has lost three out of his last four fights, including back-to-back defeats to Elias Theodorou and Zak Cummings. Smith originally was scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on ESPN+ 22 on Nov. 16, but the bout was canceled when the Brazilian suffered a back injury.

The latest UFC on ESPN 7 lineup now includes:

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