UFC Brasilia fighters, including headliners Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira, will not be tested for the coronavirus before tomorrow’s event.
Most sporting events around the globe have been postponed or canceled following the coronavirus outbreak which has sent the world into panic mode. After Bellator canceled its event scheduled for Friday night, the UFC is the only notable sporting event still taking place this weekend. As of right now, UFC Brasilia is still set to take place on Saturday afternoon with the main event featuring Lee and Oliveira in a catchweight bout. No fans will be in attendance for the card.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com, CABMMA COO Cristiano Sampaio confirmed the Brazilian athletic commission will not be testing the athletes, including Lee and Oliveira, scheduled to compete for coronavirus.
“What we did was follow teams and athletes closely, alongside the UFC, for possible symptoms, and so far no one has presented any. There was no suspicion even at the weigh-ins, where fighters would be more weaken with the weight cut. The incubation period goes from five to 14 days, which could still result in a negative test,” Sampaio said.
The move to still hold UFC Brasilia is an extremely controversial one. On hand one, fighters like Lee made it clear they still wanted to compete on Saturday and earn their paychecks. On the other hand, the fact that so many prominent sporting organizations around the world — including the NBA, the NHL, and MLB — have suspended their seasons makes the UFC’s decision to run its event in Brazil a curious one.
After Bellator canceled its Friday event at the last minute, you have to wonder if the UFC still holding Saturday’s card is the right one. While the show must go on, with no testing of the athletes you have to question if this is the right thing to do as far as health and safety goes.
Do you think the UFC should find a way to test the athletes at UFC Brasilia for coronavirus including Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira?