The UFC is following a different protocol ahead of its “Fight Island” series in Abu Dhabi in July.
While athletes were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival for fight week in Las Vegas, which led to a few last-minute fight cancellations and shuffles, the company has decided to get everyone involved, such as coaches and cornermen, tested before leaving for United Arab Emirates, multiple sources told MMA Fighting.
United States-based fighters will be sent to Las Vegas in early July to get tested for coronavirus before flying on a chartered flight to Abu Dhabi.
Eight of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at UFC 251 on July 11 are based in Brazil, and the UFC will have them all fly to Sao Paulo on the first day of the month for COVID-19 testing. They will be quarantined in a hotel for two days before leaving the country.
The same protocol will be followed for the next three UFC Fight Night events on Yas Island, booked for July 15, 18 and 25.
The UFC decided to go overseas with “Fight Island” to make sure that fighters living outside of the United States could stay active while dozens of countries face travel restrictions due to the global pandemic. A travel ban on U.K. and Brazil nationals is currently in place in the U.S., for example.
Check all 47 fights booked for Abu Dhabi below.
UFC 251, July 11
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns - welterweight title fight
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway - featherweight title fight
Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo - vacant bantamweight title fight
Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka
Elizeu Zaleski vs. Muslim Salikhov
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry
Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov
Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo
Martin Day vs. Davey Grant
UFC Fight Night, July 15
Calvin Kattar vs. Dan Ige
Pedro Munhoz vs. Frankie Edgar
Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Mounir Lazzez
Jared Gordon vs. Chris Fishgold
Modestas Bukauskas vs. Vinicius Moreira
Molly McCann vs. Taila Santos
Ricardo Ramos vs. Lerone Murphy
John Phillips vs. Dusko Todorovic
Tim Elliott vs. Ryan Benoit
Diana Belbita vs. Liana Jojua
UFC Fight Night, July 18
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez - vacant flyweight title fight
Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev
Ariane Lipski vs. Luana Carolina
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Askar Askarov
Roman Dolidze vs. Khadis Ibragimov
Grant Dawson vs. Nad Narimani
Joseph Duffy vs. Joel Alvarez
Brett Johns vs. Montel Jackson
Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Alexander Doskalchuk
Davi Ramos vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Carlos Felipe vs. Sergey Spivak
UFC Fight Night, July 15
Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till
Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Alex Oliveira vs. Peter Sobotta
Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Danny Roberts vs. Nicolas Dalby
Tom Aspinall vs. Jake Collier
Justin Tafa vs. Raphael Pessoa
Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy
Bethe Correia vs. Pannie Kianzad
Nathaniel Wood vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
Ramazan Emeev vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov