Ramiz Brahimaj has been removed from his fight against Takashi Sato at UFC on ESPN 12 after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19.
UFC officials announced the news late Thursday night.
Brahimaj was expected to make his UFC debut this weekend after previously competing in LFA where he was 4-2 in his past six fights. Brahimaj trains out of Fortis MMA in Texas but the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was not revealed.
With Brahimaj out, the UFC has secured a late replacement in newcomer Jason Witt, who will still need to finish gaining his medical clearance before officially stepping into the fight with Sato.
“Due to a positive COVID-19 test result from one of his cornermen, Ramiz Brahimaj has been removed from his bout against Takashi Sato,” UFC officials said in a statement.
“Replacing Brahimaj will be UFC newcomer Jason Witt, pending medical clearance including a COVID-19 test. As a result, the commission has agreed to weigh in Witt separately and he will not participate in tomorrow’s official weigh-ins and faceoffs.”
This is the third time a UFC card has been affected by a positive COVID-19 test result since the promotion returned to action in May.
At UFC 249, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was removed from his fight against Uriah Hall after he tested positive for the coronavirus along with two of his cornermen. Matt Frevola was also removed from UFC on ESPN 11 this past weekend after his teammate and cornerman Billy Quarantillo tested positive for COVID-19 as well.
Witt accepts the short notice opportunity after building a 17-5 resume on the regional fight circuit. He’s currently riding a four-fight win streak while training out of Glory MMA and Fitness, which is the gym owned and operated by fellow UFC fighter James Krause.
With Mara Romero Borella also removed from the card after her opponent Miranda Maverick was forced out due to injury, UFC on ESPN 12 will now move forward with 10 total fights on Saturday night from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.