A light heavyweight clash targeted for Oct. 3 will not proceed as
planned. According to a
report by Combate, Santos is out of his scheduled fight against
Teixeira at UFC on ESPN 16. “Marreta” allegedly tested positive
for COVID-19 and he won't be able to travel to Yas Island.
Santos (21-7) was supposed to make his long-awaited return after a
hiatus that lasted more than a year. The last time he competed, he
challenged former divisional kingpin Jon Jones at
UFC 239. “Bones” emerged victorious via split decision after a
back-and-forth battle, but “Marreta” fought to the bitter end. That
loss snapped Santos’ four-bout winning streak that included
victories over Jan
Blachowicz and Jimi
UFC vet Teixeira (31-7) is currently living experiencing a
resurgence. After dropping a decision in front of Corey
Anderson back at UFC Fight Night 134, the former 205-pound
title contender scored a series of three straight victories at the
expense of Karl
Cutelaba and Nikita
Krylov. In his latest fight, he smashed Anthony
Smith via TKO at the 1:04 mark of the fifth round in their UFC
Fight Night 171 encounter.
Given both fighters’ recent performances, it wouldn't have been too
much of a surprise if the winner of the Santos-Teixeira clash had
gotten a title shot at the 205-pound belt. The matchup should have
taken place already on Sept. 12, but it was rescheduled due to a
COVID-19 positive from Teixeira.
UFC on ESPN 16 will take place at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Headlining the lineup will be a women’s bantamweight affair between
former divisional champion Holly Holm
Aldana. On the same bill, former interim UFC welterweight
Condit will lock horns with Court McGee.