It appears that Deiveson Figueiredo will still have a chance to capture the UFC flyweight title on Saturday.
Figueiredo’s trainer, Wallid Ismael, confirmed that the fighter tested negative for COVID-19 during a recent medical exam and will fly to Abu Dhabi on Sunday. It was determined that a previous positive test was a result of antibodies from the disease when Figueiredo contracted coronavirus in May.
Assuming that the Brazilian flyweight again tests negative for COVID-19 upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi, he will be allowed to square off against Joseph Benavidez for the vacant 125-pound belt at UFC Fight Night 172 on Saturday. The promotion has not made an official announcement regarding the fight’s status, and it is expected that Alexandre Pantoja will fill in if Figueiredo is unable to compete.
Figueiredo faced Benavidez for the vacant flyweight strap at UFC Fight Night 169, winning via second-round technical knockout on Feb. 29. However, “Daico” missed weight prior to the event and was ineligible to win the belt, leaving the championship vacant. Figueiredo told Sherdog.com that he weighed 135 pounds as of Sunday. Prior to the first meeting with Benavidez, the Brazilian said he weighed 147 pounds one week before the fight.
UFC Fight Night 172 takes place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and is headlined by the rematch between Figueiredo and Benavidez. The main card airs on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.