As reported earlier this morning, former featherweight champion, José Aldo had been forced to withdraw from his UFC 250 bantamweight title challenge against Henry Cejudo – after he was denied a work visa due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. This evening, six of Aldo’s compatriots have been forced to follow suit ahead of the May 9th. event.
In an initial report by MMA Fighting’s, Guilherme Cruz, the correspondent revealed that matchups involving ‘Shogun’ Rua, Minotouro Nogueira, Ketlen Vieira, Bethe Correia, Augusto Sakai, and Carlos Felipe had all been shelved due to issues in obtaining a work visa to feature on the card which has been moved from São Paulo to the United States in recent days.
Of those affected, we’ve got Marion Reneau who was set to clash with Vieira, Pannie Kianzad who was scheduled to take on Bethe Correira. Blagoy Ivanov and Sergey Spivak have also been left without opponents with Augusto Sakai and Carlos Felipe forced out, respectively.
Thus – we’re left with two Brazilians who can still feature on the card. Former heavyweight champion, Fabrício Werdum is still expected to clash with Aleksei Oleinik, while Amanda Nunes is still scheduled to attempt the first defence of her featherweight title, as she meets Felicia Spencer. Werdum and Nunes ply their trade at Kings MMA, and American Top Team, in proportion.
As for Aldo, he’s since been replaced by former bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, who returns for the first time in four years to meet with Cejudo. In terms of replacement fights for those affected it’s currently unknown if the promotion will attempt to find short-notice competition, or if the aforementioned matches with be rescheduled for a later date.