Brendan Allen won’t get to face a ranked opponent, but he’ll still draw a tough test.

Brad Tavares has been forced out of UFC on ESPN 31 and Roman Dolidze (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will step in to face Allen (17-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) on Dec. 4 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

A person with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. Fight Bananas was first to report the news.

Dolidze hasn’t competed since defeating Laureano Staropoli at UFC Fight Night 189 in June. The 33-year-old Georgian was scheduled to face Kyle Daukaus this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 197, but the bout was scrapped due to COVID-19 protocols stemming from Dolidze’s camp.

Winner of nine of his past 10, former former LFA champion Allen will look to make it three straight. After submitting Karl Roberson in the first round at UFC 261, Allen bounced Punahele Soriano out of the ranks of the unbeaten at UFC on ESPN 27 in July.

The latest UFC on ESPN 31 lineup now includes:

Rob Font vs. Jose Aldo
Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill
Jake Matthews vs. Jeremiah Wells
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Claudio Puelles
Rafael Fiziev vs. Brad Riddell
Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Mallory Martin
Brendan Allen vs. Roman Dolidze
Bryan Barberena vs. Matt Brown
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Manel Kape
Vince Morales vs. Louis Smolka
Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos
Mickey Gall vs. Alex Morono
Maki Pitolo vs. Dusko Todorovic


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