Middleweight fighter Ian Heinisch nearly didn't make the preliminary fight card for UFC 250 because his cornerman tested positive for COVID-19.
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Ian Heinisch confirms on the broadcast that one of his cornerman tested positive for COVID-19 but it was deemed a “false positive” after a second test on Thursday afternoon, clearing him to fight. That’s why he was initially pulled from the fight and Anthony Ivy was signed.
After defeating Gerald Meerschaert via knockout in 74 seconds Saturday, Heinisch revealed the test was a "false positive," clearing the way for him to participate in the event.
On Thursday, Heinisch's cornerman was re-tested and came up negative.
The fighter was temporarily pulled off the prelim card three days before the event following the diagnosis.
Anthony Ivy was called upon to face Meerschaert in Heinisch's place. To make up for his flexibility, Ivy was added to the lineup for UFC's June 13 card as a prelim fight before the main event of Cynthia Calvillo vs. Jessica Eye.
It'll be the UFC debut for Ivy, who is 8-2 in his professional MMA career. He'll face another UFC newcomer in Christian Aguilera (13-6).
As for Heinisch, he'll be looking for another fight soon after his quick performance Saturday.
The middleweight earned his technical knockout in the first round by landing 22 of his 27 punches thrown. He was tagged with just three strikes by Meerschaert. The victory snaps a two-fight losing streak after Heinisch fell to Omari Akhmedov and Derek Brunson.
Heinisch now moves to 14-3 in his MMA career. Meerschaert (31-13) has now lost four of his last six bouts.