As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, protocols and general safety guidelines around the world are also changing.
For the UFC, that means vaccinated fighters, coaches, and managers will no longer have to do fight week testing upon arrival to the event location. This takes place effective this week for UFC 270 in California.
More details via MMA Fighting:
“No testing is required if you have proof of vaccination on record with UFC or if you can provide proof upon check in at the host hotel (digital copy, photo, hard copy, etc),” UFC officials said in the letter sent to fighters.
“If UFC does not have your proof of vaccination on record and if you cannot provide proof of vaccination in-person, you will be considered unvaccinated and must test as per the procedures below.”
Unvaccinated individuals arriving to fight week between Jan. 17 and Jan. 19 are required to test twice — once upon arrival at the host hotel and then a second pre-event test on Thursday, Jan. 20. Anybody arriving on Jan. 20 or later only need to test once when arriving at the host hotel.
Two rules that still remain in place for both vaccinated and unvaccinated are mandatory testing before traveling to the event (certified tests only, no at-home tests), as well as mask-wearing throughout fight week at the weigh-ins, backstage, etc.
Other sports leagues have also eased testing policies on vaccinated personnel. In the NFL (after a massive Omicron-driven outbreak led to three postponed games), the league and players’ association agreed to modify the protocols, which now allow for vaccinated players to return quicker from quarantine. Similar measures were implemented in the NBA, although they separated their testing requirements to include those who are booster eligible and those who aren’t.
For those who plan to attend UFC 270 in-person, you’ll need to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test — 24 hours out from the event for antigen, 48 hours for PCR — in order to gain entry into the Honda Center in Anaheim. Masks are also required for indoor public spaces throughout California.