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Paiva’s coach tests positive for COVID-19, fighter still cleared to travel for UFC 251

Ahead of UFC 251, Raulian Pavia’s coach has tested positive for the coronavirus.

UFC Fight Night: Anderson v Blachowicz 2 Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Paulian Paiva’s head coach, Ronildo Nobre has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their planned bout against Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC 251.

Nombre and his family contracted the coronavirus in Brazil, but according to reports from Ag Fight and MMA Fighting, the Paiva has tested negative so the fighter has still been cleared to travel to Abu Dhabi for the July 11 event. As of this writing, his scheduled bout is still on, but he will just be traveling with different cornermen.

The UFC has improved their testing protocols for this upcoming string of events in Abu Dhabi, but it’s worth noting that there are still risks involved in cases like this.

Paiva and his team are based in Para, which is among the states with the most COVID-related deaths in Brazil. They likely would’ve also been exposed to the confirmed positive head coach multiple times during training camp, and since COVID-19 tests have varying degrees of accuracy, they could still pose some risk to people while traveling from Brazil and entering the UFC’s bubble in Abu Dhabi.

Paiva beat Mark De La Rosa in February, which was his first win in three bouts with the UFC. The Contender Series product will look for a statement win at UFC 251, as this is the last bout in his current UFC contract.

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