UFC Flyweight Title Fight In Jeopardy as Fighter Tests Positive For Covid-19

Published 07/11/2020, 6:56 AM EDT


The future of the UFC Flyweight title is in jeopardy yet again. The division has been without a champion for over half a year since Henry Cejudo vacated the belt. Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez were to compete for the vacant 125 lbs divisional strap in the main event at UFC Fight Night 172. But now the fight is in jeopardy and will remain in limbo for a few more hours at the very least. 

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Fighter’s participation in doubt for UFC Flyweight Title Fight

As per Deiveson Figueiredo’s manager Wallid Ismail, the fighter who is on a 3 fight win streak has tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first of 5 tests that all Fight Island competitors must undertake. Due to this, the top-ranked Flyweight has not boarded the flight from Sao Paulo which ferried all Brazilian fighters to Abu Dhabi.

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However, the fight is not off as ‘Deus da Guerra’s team believes that the test was faulty. This is because the fighter has already contracted and recovered from the infection almost 2 months ago. 

In a chat with ESPN Brazil, Ismail said, Deiveson tested positive two months ago. There is no way he tests positive again. Our position is that is a false positive. We’re waiting the second test to prove that he’s clear and can fly normally to fight.”

Earlier, Figueiredo and Benavidez were set to clash at UFC Fight Night 169 for the vacant belt. However, the former stepped on the scale at 2.5 lbs over the championship fight limit. They competed in the main event with ‘Deus da Guerra’ claiming the win and ensuring that the belt remained vacant. 

Deiveson Figueiredo Secures a Brutal Finish Against Joseph Benavidez, Flyweight Division in Jeopardy

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The championship fight has been postponed once and now as per reports, it is in danger of another postponement. This is unless the UFC can pull off a Houdini and secure a replacement in a quick time akin to how they handled the UFC 251 main event. 

The front runner to slot in would be UFC’s 4th ranked Flyweight Alexandre Pantoja who fights 7th ranked Askar Askarov in the first main card fight at the event. 

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What do you make of these developments? Do you see ‘Deus da Guerra’s second test coming back negative thereby allowing him to compete in the 3rd event of the UFC’s Yas Fight Island sojourn? 

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Reubyn Coutinho

1008 articles

Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

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