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Coronavirus jeopardizes UFC Brasilia after governor calls off sporting events

Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira is scheduled for the main event of UFC Brasilia in Saturday.
Photo via Oliveira’s Instagram

UFC Brasilia could be in jeopardy.

With two confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the capital of Brazil, governor Ibaneis Rocha announced on Wednesday night that sporting events and concerts with gatherings of a large number of people will be suspended until March 16. Schools will also be closed, he announced.

Currently, the UFC Fight Night event is scheduled to go down Saturday night at the 16,000-seat Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Kevin Lee headlines the card against Brazilian lightweight Charles Oliveira.

Multiple UFC officials, who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly, told MMA Fighting they are aware of the decision, but not yet sure how it will affect the fight card. UFC officials currently are in talks with the government to understand how this decision impacts the event, sources said.

There are 52 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Brazil, two of those in Brasilia.

Arena officials released a statement on the situation, confirming they will follow the government's decision, but await a final decision regarding the UFC.

Arena BSB informs that became aware of a decree from the Government of the Federal District that restricts public access to sporting and cultural events, and awaits specific positioning regarding the events scheduled for this Saturday: UFC and [a soccer match]. It also clarifies that it will follow all official regulations in order to collaborate with the maintenance of public health.

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