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UFC 256: Vanderaa vs. Spivak cancelled due to COVID-19

One of the opening bouts from this weekend’s UFC 256 PPV has been scrapped after Jared Vanderaa tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dana White’s Contender Series - Vanderaa v Hunsucker Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa LLC

These days, unfortunately, fight week means more than just interviews, weight cuts, and media-day staredowns. The last few days before any UFC event in 2020 have been a waiting game, to see just how many bouts the card will lose before Saturday night. UFC 256 is no different.

Along with have lost several main events in the weeks approaching, bouts between Tecia Torres & Angela Hill, Karl Roberson & Dalcha Lungiambula, Dwight Grant & Li Jingliang have all fallen by the wayside. The latest addition to that list is one of the event’s opening prelims, a heavyweight fight between newly signed Jared Vanderaa and the 4x Octagon vet out of Moldova, Sergey Spivak.

Vanderaa revealed his positive test for COVID-19, leading to his removal from the event, in a short video posted to TikTok.

“Hey everyone, I’m back at home,” Vanderaa said, in the video message, “relaxing with the family. My fight is off, because I tested positive for COVID. Nothing wrong with me, I feel fine. My manager and all them are working to do what’s next. But, thank you guys for all the support and love. And yeah, thank you!”


Yeah my fight is off for this weekend :( #mma #ufc #fyp

♬ In The End - Linkin Park

Vanderaa (11-4) hit the UFC just last month, after a first round TKO victory over Harry Hunsucker on Dana White’s Contender Series. The 28-year-old Team Quest fighter recently picked up the SMASH Global heavyweight title, with a 5-round decision win over ever-present heavyweight veteran Tony Lopez, back in December of last year. He also holds a victory over UFC vet Ruan Potts, from a 3 fight stint in South Africa’s EFC where he won both an interim and unified heavyweight belt.

No word yet on whether the bout will be rescheduled, or if Spivak will get a new opponent on an upcoming event. With the last card of 2020 approaching just next week, it seems most likely that Vanderaa vs. Spivak will be re-booked for sometime early in 2021.