Deiveson Figueiredo may not get a chance to run things back with Joseph Benavidez.
In the main event of a UFC Fight Island card on July 18, Figueiredo is set to rematch Benavidez for the vacant flyweight title. The two fought back at UFC Norfolk in February where the Brazilian won but he also missed weight leaving the title to still be vacant.
Now, according to Brazilian outlet Combate, Figueiredo has tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the title fight in flux. According to the report, the Brazilian had the virus back in May. So, he is getting tested again on Friday to determine if it is a false positive. He was not on the charter plane to Abu Dhabi on Friday.
If the test, unfortunately, comes back positive, Figueiredo will be off the card and Alexandre Pantoja will step in to face Benavidez. Pantoja is scheduled to face Askar Askarov on the July 18 card and was scheduled to be the backup fighter in case either fighter missed weight.
Figueiredo’s manager in Wallid Ismail spoke to BJPENN.com briefly to discuss the situation where he says they believe it is a false positive as the flyweight already had the virus.
“Not true, he was positive for the virus two months ago,” Ismail said to BJPENN.com. “He can not still have the virus activity right now in the body. Something is wrong.”
When the second test result will come back will be Sunday according to the manager.
“[The test result] will come Sunday then he will then fly to Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening. This is a false positive,” Ismail added.
Deiveson Figueiredo is riding a three-fight winning streak. Before the win over Benavidez, he beat Tim Elliott by submission and Pantoja by decision. His lone loss in his career came at the hands of Jussier Formiga by decision.
Joseph Benavidez, meanwhile, was on a three-fight winning streak before the TKO loss to Figueiredo. There, he had TKO wins over Formiga, Alex Perez, and beat Dustin Ortiz by decision. This was set to be his fourth UFC title fight, where he is 0-3 so far with two losses to Demetrious Johnson. In his career, he has notable wins over Henry Cejudo, Eddie Wineland, Rani Yahya, and John Moraga among others.
Alexandre Pantoja, meanwhile, returned to the win column last time out with a KO win over Matt Schnell. He also has notable wins over Wilson Reis, Ulka Sasaki, and Brandon Moreno among others.
When the second test result will come back is up in the air. So, stay locked to BJPENN.com for all the latest news involving this flyweight title fight.
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