clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Deiveson Figueiredo tests positive for COVID-19, UFC title bout with Benavidez in jeopardy

New, comments

Flyweight title challenger Deiveson Figueiredo tested positive for COVID-19, but the fight is not officially off yet.

UFC Fight Night: Benavidez v Figueiredo Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Yet another Brazilian fighter tested positive for COVID-19. After missing weight and knocking out Joseph Benavidez back in March, which prevented him from becoming the new flyweight champion, now a different issue could keep Deiveson Figueiredo from winning the title.

Paired up against Benavidez for a rematch on July 18, ‘Deus da Guerra’ tested positive for the coronavirus and put the fight in jeopardy, per MMA Fighting. However, Figueiredo’s team claims Deiveson came down with sickness two months ago and are still trying to make the bout happen on the scheduled date.

According to World Health Organization doctor Maria Van Kerkhove, a patient infected with COVID-19 could still show symptoms even after recovering from the illness months later. Those traces found in a person’s lungs are all part of the healing process, Kerkhove says.

Based on that possibilty, Figueiredo’s team believes there still is a possibility that the fight might happen on July 18. They say Deiveson is no longer sick, even if his tests come back positive.

Tests performed for UFC athletes in Brazil typically include a nasal swab and a throat swab. It’s unclear which type of test Figueiredo tested positive for, but according to epidemiologist Zachary Binney, the PCR test would be more reliable, since saliva tests have a higher chance of causing false positives.

Should Deiveson be officially ruled out of the title fight and the UFC chooses not to re-schedule the bout for a later date, official backup fighter Alexandre Pantoja would most likely fill in for Figueiredo.

In his last outing, Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) knocked out Joseph Benavidez. The win put him on a three-fight winning streak, after beating Alexandre Pantoja and Tim Elliott. The 32-year-old’s last and sole loss came March 2019, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jussier Formiga.

Deiveson Figueiredo was expected to meet Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Night 173’s main event, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on July 18.