UFC bantamweight contender Raoni Barcelos became the latest fighter forced to leave a card due to the coronavirus. Once paired up to face Marcelos Rojo at UFC Vegas 20, a positive COVID-19 test threw a wrench into the Brazilian’s plans, who will have to withdraw from the event in order to recover properly.
On his own Twitter account, Barcelos broke the news and apologized to his fans, but promised to be back sooner rather than later. Luckily, Barcelos says his case is a mild one and he does not seem to be suffering from any of the virus’ symptoms, which could mean a faster return to the cage.
Infelizmente testei positivo para o COVID 19 e estarei fora desse card do próximo dia 27 de fevereiro,em breve estarei em ação novamente!!#deussabedetodasascoisas @ufc @ufc_brasil pic.twitter.com/UVLw8cpwN6— Raoni Barcelos (@BarcelosRaoni) February 22, 2021
“Unfortunately, I’m here to inform that I tested positive for COVID. I took the test on Saturday, the result came out last night and it was positive. Unfortunately, I’ll be withdrawing from the card on February 27. I’m feeling fine, with no symptoms. My wife also feels fine. I think God does everything at the right moment. If this is not my time to fight, let’s take the time to recover. Soon enough I’ll be back and putting on a show for you guys. Thanks, guys.”
Raoni Barcelos (16-1) is on a five-fight win streak in his UFC career, where he scored wins over Kurt Holobaugh, Chris Gutierrez, Carlos Huachin, Said Nurmagomedov and Khalid Taha. The 33-year-old’s sole loss happened in April 2014, when he got tapped out by Mark Dickman at RFA 14.
So far it is unclear whether Marcelos Rojo will remain on the card or if the fight will be shifted to a future event. Rojo himself was a short-notice replacement for Barcelos’ original opponent, Raphael Assuncao, who left the card in early February for undisclosed reasons.
UFC Vegas 20 is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, on February 27, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is expected to be headlined by a clash of heavyweight contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane.