UFC flyweight contender Deiveson Figueiredo has been cleared to fly to Abu Dhabi despite an initial COVID-19 test that returned a positive result.
Figueiredo is slated to face Joseph Benavidez in a rematch for the UFC flyweight championship on Saturday, July 18, on Yas Island.
The Brazilian initially tested positive for COVID-19 in his pre-flight test in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Confounded, he and his manager, according to ESPN, told the UFC that Figueiredo had already had COVID-19 a couple months ago. They believed the first test to be a false positive.
A second test was administered on Saturday, which came back negative, clearing the way for Figueiredo to fly to Paris and then on to Abi Dhabi.
Once Figueiredo arrives in Abu Dhabi, like all other fighters and personnel, he will be subject to another COVID-19 test at the airport. He will then be transported to his hotel and tested again upon arrival. At that point, Figueiredo will have to quarantine in his hotel room for 48 hours.
As long as the airport and hotel COVID-19 tests come back negative, he will then be allowed to move about the Fight Island, where no outside people are allowed within the 6.6 square mile Safety Zone.
Figueiredo will also be subject to one more COVID-19 test following weigh-ins, but prior to the fight.
If he clears all of these tests (which is the same for all other fighters), the bout will move forward.
Of course, Figueiredo has the added challenge of making weight. Every fighter has to hit the mark, but Figueiredo already missed weight for his first fight with Benavidez, which he won. Missing weight cost him the flyweight title in that instance. He certainly won’t want a rerun of that scenario.
Is UFC Fight Island the safest COVID-free zone on Earth?
(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)