Tonight’s main card opener for UFC Vegas 26 has been cancelled, as strawweight contender, Amanda Ribas has returned a positive test for the novel coronavirus, ultimately forcing the shelving of her three round affair with Angela Hill.
According to a report from MMA Fighting reporters, Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz, both Ribas and her father, Marcelo, have returned positive tests for COVID-19 — ruling her from the clash with Hill. UFC Vegas 26 is set to proceed with a nine-bout card.
This evening’s development adds to some prior woes to this card already, which saw its initial headliner between Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw shelved, as well as its co-main event, which was first set to feature Donald Cerrone and Diego Sanchez, before the latter was released from the promotion. Alex Morono has drafted in on short notice and will tackle Cerrone.
At yesterday’s weigh-ins, the event lost two fights, with a flyweight pairing of Ryan Benoit and Zarrukh Adashev scratched after Benoit tipped the flyweight scales for his preliminary bout. A heavyweight pairing between veteran, Ben Rothwell and Philipe Lins was also removed from the card after the latter failed to weigh in, suffering from an illness.
Ribas was scheduled to make her first Octagon outing following her premier promotional blemish earlier this year at UFC 256 in January.
The Brazilian met with compatriot, event headliner, Marina Rodriguez — eventually succumbing to second round strikes.
For former Invicta FC strawweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter alum, Hill, she headlined UFC Vegas 10 last August on short notice against tonight’s other headliner, Michelle Waterson, where she suffered a close split decision loss after five rounds.