COVID-19 has put a UFC foremost occasion title struggle in jeopardy for the second time in as many weeks.

Deiveson Figueiredo, who was scheduled to fulfill Joseph Benavidez within the headline bout on July 18 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, has examined optimistic for COVID-19.

Figueiredo (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) had beforehand examined optimistic for COVID two months in the past, and with second infections with the novel coronavirus being uncommon, his camp hopes he has registered a false optimistic.

Figueiredo will do a re-test on Saturday; if he comes up adverse, he’ll fly out to Abu Dhabi. If he assessments optimistic once more, he won’t go to the Center East.

If Figueiredo does must withdraw, a supply tells MMA Junkie that Alexandre Pantoja, who’s scheduled to struggle Askar Askarov on the night’s foremost card, is anticipated to step in to face Benavidez.

Figueiredo and Benavidez initially fought on Feb. 29. Figueiredo received through a second-round end. However he missed weight the day earlier than, which meant that solely Benavidez was eligible to win the title, and as such, the title remained vacant.

The potential withdrawal got here one week after UFC 251 headliner Gilbert Burns, who was slated to struggle Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title,  pulled out as a result of a COVID-19 prognosis. Jorge Masvidal took his place within the night’s foremost occasion.