(Editor’s note: Article originally erred by saying it was for UFC 251. It has since been corrected.)
With Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island set to host four UFC events throughout the month of July, the promotion has already seen three fights scrapped due to COVID-19 positive tests.
MMA Fighting reported on Friday that a UFC Fight Night strawweight matchup between former champion Carla Esparza and rising Brazilian contender Marina Rodriguez is now off the table after someone from Rodriguez’s corner had a positive result for the virus. Rodriguez tested negative but the UFC, much like they did for Matt Frevola two weeks ago, erred on the side of caution and did not let her travel to Abu Dhabi from Sao Paulo.
This news comes shortly after Anderson dos Santos and Vinicius Moreira were pulled from their respective July 15th bouts after they both tested positive for COVID-19.
Esparza (16-6) is riding a three-fight winning streak, most recently getting a somewhat controversial split decision over Michelle Waterson at UFC 249. Rodriguez (12-0-2) is unbeaten in the UFC, albeit with a rare 2-0-2 record. Her last appearance saw her fight to a draw with Cynthia Calvillo.
It is unlikely that a replacement opponent will be sought for Rodriguez, which means that current travel restrictions may lead to this fight being rebooked at a later date. Since the May 9th restart, this is the sixth UFC matchup to be called off due to a COVID-19 positive for either a fighter or a cornerperson.
UFC Fight Night on July 15th is headlined by featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige.