MMA Fighting confirmed with a Bellator official that Arteaga and Newell have been forced to withdraw from their respective bouts against Desiree Yanez and Zach Zane, respectively. The flyweight bout between Arteaga and Yanez was to serve as Thursday’s main card opener at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Arteaga and Newell were not medically cleared to compete by the commission, though no official reason was given as to why.
It was Yanez who broke the news Thursday, posting on Instagram that Arteaga had tested positive for COVID-19:
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*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.
“My fight is unfortunately cancelled tonight due to my opponent getting tested positive for COVID,” Yanez wrote. “I really don’t know what to say other than I was more than ready for battle and still am. Bellator is going to get this match up back as soon as they possibly can.
“I am beyond devastated, but everything happens for a reason.”
A Bellator official could not confirm whether or not Arteaga tested positive for COVID-19.
Bellator 250 is headlined by a fight between Gegard Mousasi and current welterweight champion Douglas Lima for a vacant middleweight title. The main card starts at 8 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, with the preliminary card available to stream on MMA Fighting at 6 p.m. ET.