The UFC Vegas 10 (aka UFC on ESPN+ 35) main event between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos has been nixed.
Teixeira tested positive for COVID-19, necessitating his removal from the Sept. 12 main event. Instead of trying to keep Santos on the card, UFC officials instead opted to reschedule the bout to the Oct. 3 fight card headlined by Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The news was first reported by Combate, but UFC officials confirmed the move to broadcast partner ESPN.
Officials have yet to name a new main event for next week’s UFC Vegas 10. The initial co-main event features Michelle Waterson vs. Angela Hill.
With Santos currently sitting at No. 2 in the UFC light heavyweight division and Teixeira at No. 4, it’s not surprise that the UFC would rather keep the bout intact that to break it up. The bout could have far reaching effects in determining the first challenger to the next UFC light heavyweight champion.
Jon Jones recently vacated the title in pursuit of a run at heavyweight. Top contenders Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz are currently scheduled to meet at UFC 253 on Sept. 26 to determine the new champion.
Teixeira’s training partner, Glory champion Alex Pereira, also positive for COVID-19
(UPDATED: Thursday, Sept. 3, at 1:15 p.m. ET)
Teixeira, in speaking with MMAFighting on Thursday morning, revealed that his main training parter for the fight with Santos also tested positive for COVID-19. That training partner is dual-division Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira. As a result, they have decided to quarantine together at Teixeira’s house, where they will continue training for his re-scheduled Oct. 3 date in Abu Dhabi.
“I only did the test because the UFC asked me to, I wasn’t feeling any symptoms,” Teixeira told MMAFighting. “Actually, no one in the team had any symptoms. They tested everybody, and Alex and I were the only ones that came back positive. But they asked everyone to test again next week just to make sure.”
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UFC Vegas 9 COVID-19 fight card shake-ups
Ovince Saint Preux was supposed to have fought Alonzo Menifield on Aug. 22 at UFC on ESPN 15. The bout was scratched when Saint Preux tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before the fight. It has been re-scheduled as the UFC Vegas 9 co-main event on Saturday.
Two other UFC Vegas 9 bouts were also affected by COVID-19. According to a UFC statement:
Out of an abundance of caution, Ricky Simon has been removed from his bout with Brian Kelleher and will be replaced by UFC newcomer Kevin Natividad, who makes his debut riding a five-fight win streak. Additionally, the women’s bantamweight bout between former UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano and Julia Avila is postponed to a later date due to a positive COVID test result.
The UFC Vegas 9 (aka UFC on ESPN+ 34) main event features heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai.
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