Ciryl Gane-Ante Delija fight off due to contract dispute

Saturday's UFC card is down one fight, but this time it's not because of an injury or a positive COVID-19 test.

The Ciryl Gane (6-0) vs. Ante Delija (17-3) fight has been canceled due to a contract dispute with PFL, which Delija fought for in 2019.

Per sources, the UFC pulled Delija from the fight after learning from PFL officials that he was still under contract with them.

"My PFL contract formally expired on Feb. 2, 2020 and there was a unilateral option from the PFL to extend my contract for two more seasons," Delija wrote in a statement issued to ESPN. "However, since there is no [PFL] season this year and I had not received any form of payments from PFL or any compensation, this became not an option for me.

"Unfortunately, PFL wrote a letter to the UFC earlier this week saying that I was still under contract with PFL, but this, however, was not in accordance with the legal facts. My management team and my attorney pointed out the invalidity of the contract to the PFL.

"Unfortunately, the PFL ignored all legal letters and deliberately put obstacles in my way and took away my chance to fight in the UFC on Saturday. My management team has already instructed our lawyer to take the next legal steps and we will be looking into what future steps we will be making.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to be by the UFC. I am looking forward to clearing this matter up as soon as possible, and I will be ready to take a fight as soon as possible."

PFL officials declined comment when contacted by ESPN.

News of the fight being off was first reported by French site La Sueur.

After winning his PFL debut in June 2019, Delija was forced to withdraw from the season due to an injured hand. That currently stands as his lone appearance for the promotion.

Delija most recently fought for Polish-based KSW in November 2019, but, per sources, was given clearance by the PFL to take that one-off fight because it happened in his home country of Croatia.

According to Gane's manager and coach, Fernand Lopez, the Frenchman will not be fighting a late replacement Saturday night due to the last-minute circumstances surrounding the contract dispute.

Saturday's event, headlined by Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung, will take place in Abu Dhabi.