The upcoming UFC 254 pay per view event -- set to go down on Oct 24, 2020, on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- has taken another hit as ESPN reports that Cynthia Calvillo has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, she has been forced to withdraw from her scheduled fight against Lauren Murphy.
The promotion managed to get Murphy another opponent, as Liliya Shakirova — winner of three straight and eight of nine overall — will step in on short notice in what will mark her UFC debut.
Calvillo was looking to cement her status as a candidate for the next shot in the women’s Flyweight division after making her successful drop down against Jessica Eye earlier this year. Calvillo is currently on a three-fight win streak, though she did have a majority draw against Marina Rodriguez in Dec. 2019. Murphy, meanwhile, has also won three in a row and four of her last five bouts.
This is now the second fight that has been scratched from the event as a result of COVID-19, as the highly-anticipated Lightweight bout between Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev was scrapped after “RDA” tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the promotion to remove Makhachev from the event altogether.
UFC 254 will be headlined by the highly-anticipated Lightweight title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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