Deiveson Figueiredo Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of UFC Fight Island Event

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 11, 2020

NORFOLK, VA - FEBRUARY 29:  Deiveson Figueiredo reacts after defeating Joseph Benavidez in their flyweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Deiveson Figueiredo, who is scheduled to fight Joseph Benavidez for the vacant flyweight title July 18, has tested positive for COVID-19, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

Figueiredo's manager, Wallid Ismail, confirmed the news to Raimondi and also said the fight is not officially off. The fighter's team believes the test was a false positive, and he will be undergoing another test Saturday.

Figueiredo previously tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

Per Raimondi, if Figueiredo isn't cleared to fight, then either Alexandre Pantoja or Askar Askarov could step in as a replacement. The two featherweights are scheduled to fight each other July 18 as well. 

Pantoja is the No. 4 flyweight on UFC's rankings, and Askarov is No. 7. MMA Junkie further reported that Pantoja would in fact be the replacement pick.

Figueiredo vs. Benavidez is slated to headline an event on UFC's Fight Island, which is located in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Multiple fighters have had to pull out of events due to positive COVID-19 test results, with welterweight Gilbert Burns notably doing so prior to his scheduled bout with Kamaru Usman for the title belt.

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Jorge Masvidal is taking his place for the fight, which will headline UFC 251 on Fight Island on Saturday.

The UFC has still been able to hold events consistently since May, however, with events occurring in Jacksonville (Florida), Las Vegas and now Yas Island.

If Figueiredo vs. Benavidez stays on the card, then it will be a rematch of their Feb. 29 bout, which Figueiredo won by second-round TKO. That fight was also for the vacant flyweight title, but because Figueiredo missed weight before the event, he was ineligible to win the belt.