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UFC Brasilia fighters excused from testing for coronavirus - Brazil commission says why

  • All UFC Brasilia fighters are spared from COVID-19 testing when rest of the world is busy taking utmost measures. #UFC #UFCBrasilia
Anwesha Nag
Modified 14 Mar 2020, 13:51 IST

UFC President Dana White
UFC President Dana White

While the rest of the world is canceling one sporting event after another owing to the mass outbreak of coronavirus, UFC is not only going ahead with UFC Brasilia but also not testing the fighters for COVID-19.

The news was confirmed to MMA Fighting by the COO of Brazilian athletic commission CABMMA, Cristiano Sampaio.

Sampaio claims they are doing everything possible

After it was reported by several fighting teams that no coronavirus tests were being done at UFC Brasilia, Sampaio justified their actions in a written statement to the website.

Sampaio explained that even though they had not been conducting tests, CABMMA closely followed the fighters and their team members for any sign of the virus infection. None was found with suspicious symptoms.

"What we did was follow teams and athletes closely, alongside the UFC, for possible symptoms, and so far no one has presented any. There was no suspicion even at the weigh-ins, where fighters would be more weaken with the weight cut. The incubation period goes from five to 14 days, which could still result in a negative test."

However, the event itself will take place behind closed doors on Saturday, March 14. The Nilson Nelson Gymnasium will be clear of fans and media on Saturday night owing to a decree from the Federal District Governor suspending any event with more than a hundred people until March 16. Sampaio says that they are doing everything in their capacity to keep the situation free of crisis.

"We're taking every measure possible under the current scenario."

Other than the coronavirus scare, UFC Brasilia is expected to go smoothly except a minor hiccup surrounding the main event. Lightweight fighter Kevin Lee, who is going to headline the event with Charles Oliveira, missed weight by 2.5 pounds and will be giving up 20 percent of his fight purse to his opponents. All other fighters made weight successfully.

Published 14 Mar 2020, 13:51 IST
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