Mario Bautista is jumping on an opportunity.
Inactive since last February, Bautista (8-1) is stepping in as a short-notice replacement for an injured Randy Costa to fight Trevin Jones (12-6, 1 NC) in a bantamweight bout at UFC 259 on March 6 in Las Vegas. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with sources with knowledge of the change, following an initial report by MMA Junkie.
Costa announced his withdrawal from the bout on Monday, apologizing to Jones and targeting a May return.
Thank you for all the continued love and support. Just a small bump in the road.
I’ll be good for May and intend/hope to be fighting then.
— Randy Costa (@RandyCosta135) February 15, 2021
Bautista has won back-to-back fights, outpointing Jin Soo Son in July 2019 and then finishing Miles Johns by second-round TKO at UFC 247 last February.
In his UFC debut in August, Jones was on the right end of a wild comeback as he overcame early adversity to finish Timur Valiev with strikes in the second round. However, his win was overturned to a no-contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission after he tested positive for marijuana.