Deiveson Figueiredo-Joseph Benavidez fights in the air after a COVID test

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COVID-19 Endangered UFC Main Event Title Fight For Second Time In As Many WeeksDeiveson Figueiredo, who was scheduled to meet Joseph Benavidez in the July 18 fight on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, has been positive for COVID-19.

Figueiredo (18-1 MMA, 7-1 CFU) had previously tested positive for COVID two months ago, and with a second infection with the new coronavirus being rare, his camp hopes that he has recorded a false positive.

Figueiredo will do a new test on Saturday; if it turns out to be negative, it will fly to Abu Dhabi. If it is positive again, it will fly to the Middle East.

If Figueiredo withdraws, a source tells MMA Junkie that Alexandre Pantoja, who should fight Askar Askarov on the main map of the evening, should intervene to face Benavidez.

Figueiredo and Benavidez originally clashed on February 29. Figueiredo won via a second round. But he had been underweight the day before, which meant that only Benavidez was eligible to win the title, and as such, the title remained vacant.

Figueiredo’s withdrawal came a week after UFC 251 star Gilbert Burns, who had to fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title, was withdrawn due to a diagnosis of COVID-19. Jorge Masvidal took his place in the main event of the evening.

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