Fully Vaccinated Fighters Won't Be Tested for COVID-19 Ahead of UFC 270

Doric SamJanuary 18, 2022

CORRECTS TO JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK NOT JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUCK - Francis Ngannou, left, walks alway after knocking out Jairzinho Rozenstruik, bottom, in the first round of a UFC 249 mixed martial arts bout Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux

Ahead of UFC 270 this Saturday, fighters who are fully vaccinated reportedly will not be tested for COVID-19 during fight week.

Per ESPN's Marc Raimondi, fighters and the corner people accompanying them who are fully vaccinated "will not have to undergo COVID testing nor any quarantining" prior to Saturday's event. Raimondi noted that they will still need to produce a negative test prior to their arrival in Anaheim and they will also be tested before their departure.

UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell told Raimondi that these protocols were implemented in accordance with the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). Those who are unvaccinated will be required to quarantine and will still be tested twice during the week.

CSAC director Andy Foster told Raimondi that anyone who is symptomatic will be tested for COVID-19. Foster added that CSAC doctors who are on-site will "pay special attention to that."

While this is the first time during the ongoing pandemic that fully vaccinated fighters will not be tested, it may not be the norm going forward.

"The UFC follows the protocols set forth by the individual athletic commissions that have jurisdiction and could have different COVID rules in place in another state for the UFC's next card," Raimondi stated.

This move to ease testing protocols follows a recent trend across sports. The NBA no longer tests fully vaccinated players on game day. The NFL decreased the frequency it tests vaccinated players and personnel last month. Per ESPN's Emily Kaplan, the NHL plans to stop testing those who are asymptomatic after the All-Star break.

UFC 270 is headlined by a heavyweight title unification fight between champion Francis Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane. The co-main event will feature flyweight champion Brandon Moreno defending his belt against Deiveson Figueiredo in a trilogy fight.