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Report: Rodriguez vs. Esparza removed from UFC’s July 15 event after positive COVID-19 test

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Montevideo- Torres vs Rodriguez Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Another exciting matchup has been scratched from UFC’s upcoming “Fight Island” schedule due to a positive COVID-19 test, as Marina Rodriguez vs. Carla Esparza has been removed from the promotion’s July 15 event.

Per a recent report by MMA Fighting, one of Rodriguez’s cornermen tested positive for coronavirus prior to a charted flight from Sao Paulo to “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. While Rodriguez’s test came back negative the promotion has decided to err on the side of caution and remove the bout entirely.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only fight to be removed from UFC’s upcoming event on July 15 as the promotion ramps up its COVID-19 testing in advance to the launch of “Fight Island.” Earlier today, it was announced that Brazilian fighters Anderson dos Santos and Vinicius Moreira were also removed from their respective bouts following positive coronavirus test results.

Rodriguez, 33, is coming off a draw opposite Cynthia Calvillo back in December. The promising women’s strawweight contender has produced a 2-0-2 record since entering the promotion back in 2018 and was hoping to parlay a win over Esparza into a potential UFC title shot. The Brazilian fighter will have to wait a little longer to get her hands on the former division champ.

Esparza, 32, has turned her career around after suffering back-to-back losses to Tatiana Suarez and Claudia Gadelha back in 2018. Since then, “Cookie Monster” has won three fights in a row including victories over top contenders Michelle Waterson and Alexa Grasso. Esparza was hoping to hand Rodriguez her first professional loss and prove it may be time for her to get another shot at UFC gold.

UFC’s July 15 event will be headlined (for now) by a featherweight clash between rising contenders Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige. The co-main event will feature a bantamweight clash between UFC legend Frankie Edgar and surging finisher Pedro Munhoz.

For more news on UFC’s July 15 card click here.