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UFC Vegas 44 loses welterweight fight last second due to COVID-19

UFC Fight Night: Font v Aldo Weigh-in Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

We have yet again lost another fight last second due to COVID-19 as a welterweight clash between Jake Matthews and Jeremiah Wells has been removed from UFC Vegas 44 later tonight (Sat., Dec. 4, 2021) live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is according to a recent Instagram post by Wells, who informed fans that his bout with Matthews has been canceled. Wells did in fact pass his own COVID-19 test, but one of his cornermen tested positive for the virus. By UFC rule, the fight must be scrapped.

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HIGH STAKES LIGHTWEIGHT MATCHUP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX on Sat., Sept. 23, 2023, with a high stakes 155-pound showdown as No. 6-ranked contender, Rafael Fiziev, takes on No. 7-seeded Mateusz Gamrot. In UFC Vegas 79’s co-main event, No. 12-ranked Featherweight contender, Bryce Mitchell, steps back into the Octagon against No. 13-seeded Dan Ige.

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“Sorry everyone, I just found out that my fight is canceled due to exposure of Covid,” wrote Wells. “My test result came back negative, but one of my corner men had a result of positive. Thank you to everyone that supported me, helped me with this fight camp and cheer me on.”

Wells, 35, made a monstrous UFC debut this past June when he defeated welterweight veteran Warlley Alves via second-round knockout (highlights HERE). He was hoping to build off that win at UFC Vegas 44 and enter 2022 as a dark horse to make the division’s Top 15. Matthews, on the other hand, is coming off a submission loss to Sean Brady back in March and was aiming to right the ship heading into next year. Both fighters will have to wait a little longer for their next Octagon appearance.

With the late cancelation UFC Vegas 44 will now proceed with 13 total fights. Check out the updated lineup below:

Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+)
10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT

Rob Font vs. Jose Aldo
Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev
Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill
Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos
Brendan Allen vs. Chris Curtis
Alex Morono vs. Mickey Gall

‘Prelims’ Undercard (ESPN/ESPN+)
7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT

Maki Pitolo vs. Dusko Todorovic
Manel Kape vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Bryan Barberena vs. Darian Weeks
Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Mallory Martin
Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight
Claudio Puelles vs. Chris Gruetzemacher
Louis Smolka vs. Vince Morales will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 44 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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