Deiveson Figueiredo has failed a pre-fight COVID-19 test, and his title rematch with Joseph Benavidez may be in jeopardy.
Figueiredos manager, Wallid Ismail, on Friday told MMA Fighting the Brazilian flyweight title challenger was due to fly to Abu Dhabi from Sao Paulo, one of three hub cities the UFC has designated for fighters traveling to Fight Island, for the July 18 fight at Yas Island. As part of the trip, Figueiredo was tested for COVID-19, and he failed the test, preventing him from getting on the plane.
Ismail said Figueiredo tested positive for the virus two months ago after suffering from symptoms of the virus. But he denied the fighter was still infected and blamed the test for a positive result. He added Figueiredos corners also tested negative for COVID-19 and said the fighter will be tested again with the hopes of boarding another plane to Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
He couldnt have tested positive because he had COVID two months ago, Ismail said.
Word of Figueiredos positive test was first reported by Combate. A UFC rep told MMA Fighting the promotion is looking into the matter and declined further comment.
The CDC and WHO still are uncertain on whether a person previously infected with COVID-19 is totally immune to future infections. In May, WHO doctor Maria Van Kerkhove told the BBC that the agency has seen previously infected persons whove previously tested negative then test positive several weeks later. She attributed the phenomenon to the healing process of the lungs as it eliminated dead cells.
Theres fragments of those lungs that are testing positive for PCR, she said. Its not infectious virus. Its not the infection. Its not reactivation. Its actually part of the healing process.
Three types of COVID-19 tests are currently in widespread use: PCR, which looks for the genetic material of the coronavirus; antibody, which looks whether a person has previously been infected, and antigen, which looks for active infection. Its not known what type of COVID-19 test Figueiredo took that produced the positive. In a UFC press release that touted Fight Island safety protocols, it noted the promotion expected to perform approximately 3,300 pre-departure and on-site COVID-19 antigen tests for UFC athletes and event personnel.
Tests performed in Sao Paulo included a nasal swab, which typically signifies a PCR test, and a throat swab, which takes the saliva needed for an antigen test.
In an interview with MMA Fighting on Wednesday, Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist previously critical of the UFCs testing protocols, said the promotion would be more effective using PCR tests, as antigen tests often cause false positives.
If confirmed positive and ruled out of the fight, Figueiredo would suffer another devastating career setback. Prior to his first meeting with Benavidez in February, which ended in a brutal knockout win, he failed to make weight and was ruled ineligible to win a title left vacant by former two-division champ Henry Cejudo.
Despite his most recent setback, Figueiredo has won his past three fights, finishing two of three.
As MMA Fighting previously reported, Alexandre Pantoja said he is on board as a backup fighter should either fighter be ruled out of the July 18 event.
Big Ten to start 10-game conference slate on Sept. 3; Michigan-Ohio State to be Oct. 24 – ESPN
The Big Ten football schedule has two bye weeks built in for each team, with the regular season ending Nov. 21 and the conference title game on Dec. 5. There is ample flexibility to account for games that need to be rescheduled.
The Big Ten will play a 10-game, conference-only football schedule that begins Labor Day weekend and includes ample flexibility, the league announced Wednesday morning.
Each team has two open weeks, and the schedule has four weeks built in to reschedule games, including a league-wide open week on Nov. 28. The model allows for opening games on the weekend of Sept. 3-5 to be moved to Sept. 12, Sept. 19 or Sept. 26 “through strategic sequencing.”
The regular season is set to wrap up Nov. 21, and …
Michigan State football forced to play in Ann Arbor in reworked Big Ten schedule – Detroit Free Press
Here’s what we know about Michigan State football’s revamped Big Ten schedule.
Michigan State Spartans football coach Mel Tucker speaks to the media on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in East Lansing.
Detroit Free Press
If there is college football this fall, Mel Tucker’s debut at Michigan State won’t be against the opponent he expected.
But he also would face Michigan sooner than planned. And not in Spartan Stadium.
The Spartans are scheduled to open the 10-game revamped Big Ten-only season at home against Minnesota the week of Sept. 3-5, the conference revealed Wednesday morn…
How Tyrann Mathieu Found His Way Through the Chaos On and Off the Field – Sports Illustrated
A nomadic star, Mathieu became the missing piece in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl puzzle. And amid the turbulence of a pandemic and social upheaval, he emerged as one of the most prominent voices among athlete activists.
Tyrann Mathieu looked up, past the red-and-gold confetti falling from the sky, and saw only stars, like the whole galaxy had been lit. He could hardly speak. He couldn’t move. The screaming fans, the euphoric teammates, the thuds of bass coming from the speakers—it all faded into a dreamlike silence. Mathieu asked himself a question he already knew the answer to: How in the world did I end up here?
On the night the Chiefs secured their first Super Bowl berth in half a century last January, he c…
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