COVID-19 Claims Arteaga-Yanez, Newell-Zane Matchups on Bellator 250

By: Jay Pettry
Oct 29, 2020
View this post on Instagram

*sigh* well guys... my fight is unfortunately cancelled tonight due to my opponent getting tested positive for Covid. I really don’t know what to say other than I was more than ready for battle and still am. @bellatormma is going to get this match up back as soon as they possibly can. I am beyond devastated, but everything happens for a reason. More time to prepare. I love you all and the support has been so unreal to me. Don’t worry, the fight will happen soon enough. and luckily for me, @bellatormma is stuck with me for a good while . — to my sponsors, I will be honoring you guys for whenever we get this match up going again. I love y’all and couldn’t do this without all. — I love all my fans, my coaches, my managers, and my teammates for constantly sticking by my side! My time is coming. I just know it.

A post shared by Desiree “Dirty Dez” Yanez (@dirtydezmma) on


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Bellator MMA has just seen its big event shaken up on fight day.

First reported by MMA Fighting on Thursday, two bouts have been scratched from Bellator 250. Both Veta Arteaga and Nick Newell have tested positive for COVID-19, and they have been pulled from their respective pairings against Desiree Yanez and Zach Zane. The news has since been confirmed by ESPN, and Yanez has since posted about the scrapped Oct. 29 fight on her Instagram.

Yanez, who was aiming to make her promotional debut, wrote the following:

“*sigh* well guys…my fight is unfortunately canceled tonight due to my opponent getting tested positive for COVID. I really don’t know what to say other than I was more than ready to battle and still am. Bellator MMA is going to get this matchup back as soon as they possibly can. I am beyond devastated, but everything happens for a reason. More time to prepare. I love you all and the support has been so unreal to me. Don’t worry, the fight will happen soon enough. And luckily for me, Bellator MMA is stuck with me for a good while. To my sponsors, I will be honoring you guys for whenever we get this matchup going again. I love y’all and couldn’t do this without all. I love all my fans, my coaches, my managers, and my teammates for constantly sticking by my side! My time is coming. I just know it.”

Previously set to make her first appearance in Bellator, Yanez signed with the company after a contentious split decision defeat to drop her belt to Melissa Martinez at a December Combate Americas card. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak which saw “Dirty Dez” win the Combate title when Paulina Vargas broke her leg defending a takedown.

Her opponent Artega has lost her last two dating back to 2019, although one of the two was a title fight defeat to Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Originally joining the ranks following her successful MMA debut in 2016, Artega has put together a .500 record with stoppage wins over Denise Kielholtz and Brooke Mayo along the way. Adding insult to injury, Artega actually missed weight by .2 pounds, only to see her bout fall away after testing positive for COVID-19.

Newell was looking to get back on the win column after a narrow split decision setback to Luis Muro a year ago. The Connecticut native won his Bellator debut a few months prior, tapping out Corey Browning with an early arm-triangle choke. “Notorious” has stopped his foe in 13 of 16 career wins, with a wide majority by submission.

Zane also appeared for the first time with Bellator in December, taking his first career decision win over sizeable favorite Nainoa Dung. Prior to needing three rounds to beat a foe, all 13 wins for “God’s Warrior” came by stoppage. The Hawaiian first stepped on to a major stage at the third season of Dana White's Contender Series, where he dropped a decision to Justin Gonzales to halt an eight-fight stoppage victory streak.

Due to the loss of these two fights, Bellator will be moving the preliminary middleweight scrap between Dalton Rosta (3-0) and Ty Gwerder (5-1) to the main card. Bellator 250 is now down to eight fights, and it will go down at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Oct. 29. It will be headlined by a middleweight championship affair as Gegard Mousasi defends his throne against current welterweight king Douglas Lima. The co-main event will still see Henry Corrales take on Brandon Girtz at featherweight.
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