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Report: Figueiredo passes COVID-19 test, flyweight title rematch with Benavidez still on

Another UFC title fight is in danger as July 19th’s Benavidez vs. Figueiredo fight rests on whether Abu Dhabi will let Figueiredo onto “Fight Island” with COVID antibodies.

The Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on UFC cards, but perhaps not as much havoc on next weekend’s UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 card as it did UFC 251. This weekend’s event saw main event challenger Gilbert Burns test positive for COVID-19, opening the door for Jorge Masvidal to step in and snatch some sweet sweet money if not a win over Kamaru Usman.

The main event scheduled for July 19, 2020, saw a similar positive test potentially screw things up when Flyweight title challenger Deiveson Figueiredo tested positive ... but it turns out he probably only tested positive for antibodies that remain after you fight off the virus.

It’s all a somewhat confusing tale with no definite answers that a bleary-eyed Dana White simply shrugged at when asked for an update after UFC 251. So let’s explain it through several days worth of reports on Twitter instead.

And for those of you worried about Figueiredo missing weight for the rematch like he did in his first fight with Benavidez, rendering him unable to claim the Flyweight title? It sounds like things are on much better footing this time.

Now, before you get too excited that everything’s all good, keep in mind Figueiredo will still have to submit to multiple COVID-19 tests in Abu Dhabi. If any of those sets off alarm bells with whatever medical agency is monitoring UFC’s operations in United Arab Emirates, he could still find himself pulled from the card. The procedures being followed seem to be erring on the side of extreme caution — commentator Paul Felder found himself pulled from working UFC 251 simply because another UFC participant seated near him on the plane to Las Vegas tested positive. Even COVID antibodies may be enough to freak out whoever is running the bubble to get into Abu Dhabi and “Fight Island.”

So cross your fingers and feel hopeful that we’ll get to see Figueiredo and Benavidez run things back next weekend. But, if things fall through, the 22-4 (6-2 UFC) Alexandre Pantoja will be promoted up the card into the main event.