UFC bantamweight contender Jose Aldo and 13 other Brazilian MMA fighters have been removed from upcoming UFC events in the United States.
Aldo was set to fight Henry Cejudo in the main event of UFC 250 for the bantamweight championship, but Aldo was unable to obtain a visa to fight in the U.S. after the card was moved from Sao Paulo to Tachi Palace. Instead, the UFC is giving Dominick Cruz the title shot against Cejudo.
It turns out that Aldo is not the only Brazilian fighter who has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the issue of obtaining a visa. A new report from Combate says that Aldo, plus 13 other Brazilians, will not be able to obtain visas and have therefore been pulled from upcoming events set for Tachi Palace and beyond.
According to the report, “the explanation is that American Embassies around the world are not serving non-American citizens and, therefore, it was impossible at this time for athletes to renew their work visa to travel to the United States, where the next five events are expected to take place.” Aldo and 13 other fighters have been affected by this.
The list of fighters who will no longer be able to fight on the upcoming cards are:
- Jose Aldo, who was set to fight Henry Cejudo at UFC 250
- Arianne Carnelossi, who was set to fight Mackenzie Dern at UFC Nebraska
- Raphael Pessoa, who was set to fight Alexander Romanov at UFC Nebraska
- Marina Rodriguez, who was set to fight Claudia Gadelha at UFC Oklahoma City
- Vanessa Melo, who was set to fight Sarah Alpar at UFC Oklahoma City
- Ketlen Vieira, who was set to fight Marion Reneau at UFC 250
- Bethe Correia, who was set to fight Pannie Kianzad at UFC 250
- Augusto Sakai, who was set to fight Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 250
- Carlos Felipe, who was set to fight Sergy Spivak at UFC 250
- Shogun Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who were set to fight each other at UFC 250
- Arian Lipski and Luana Carolina, who were set to fight each other at UFC San Diego
- Lara Procopio, who was set to fight Cortney Casey at UFC San Diego
Note: All of these cards will now take place at Tachi Palace, or on the “private island” Dana White has targeted for future events.
Thankfully, the visa issue will not affect Jessica Andrade, who obtained her visa before the offices closed and who is still eligible to fight at UFC 249. Her teammate Karol Rosa, who fights Julia Avila at UFC 249, will not be affected either.
What should the UFC do for Brazilian fighters like Jose Aldo who cannot obtain a visa to the U.S.?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/9/2020.