May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Carla Esparza (red gloves) fights Michelle Waterson (blue gloves) during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez Canceled Due to Positive Covid-19 Test

Carla ‘Cookie Monster’ Esparza (17-6) scheduled to take on Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2) on ‘Fight Island’, July 15th. in Abu Dhabi for UFC Fight Night: 172 Katter vs. Ige — their fight has been canceled after one of Rodriguez’s corners tested positive for the coronavirus.

Set to take place on the second card scheduled for the long-awaited ‘Fight Island’, Esparza was looking to build off the momentum from a recent close decision victory over Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie’ Waterson at UFC 249.

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Her opponent, Rodriguez, a Dana White’s Contender Series alum, was aiming to remain undefeated in the UFC, picking up a victory over another big name in her division along the way. Rodriguez’s last appearance in the Octagon resulted in a draw against Cynthia Calvillo. Before that, she picked up consecutive wins over Jessica Aguilar and Teica Torres

Even though Rodriguez tested negative for COVID-19, she was not allowed to travel from São Paulo, Brazil to Abu Dhabi. Heavy travel restrictions are in place due to the global pandemic making it very difficult to find a late replacement for Esparza — who was hoping to extend her three-fight win streak.

This card is still going to be action-packed featuring a co-main event with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (22-8-1) facing Pedro Munhoz (18-4-0- 1NC) in his debut at bantamweight. In the main event, Calvin Katter (21-4) takes on ‘Dynamite’ Dan Ige (14-2) in the featherweight division. Catch all the action live on ESPN+ Saturday, July 15th.

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