UFC’s last event of the year will proceed without a bout, as COVID-19 protocols forced Victor Henry out of his fight against Raoni Barcelos.
The bantamweight contest was canceled after Henry tested positive for COVID-19, per a report from Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting.
The bout was expected to take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The change comes amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases in North America due to the Omicron variant. The United States has seen a 20 percent increase of new cases over the past 14 days, per The New York Times.
UFC has been seemingly unaffected by the recent variant-induced spike thus far, as their previous most recent bout affected by the virus was two weeks ago on December 4th.
The first U.S. case of the Omicron variant was reported on November 22nd.
Henry was looking to make his UFC debut, coming in on short notice to replace Trevin Jones.
Barcelos was set to bounce back from his first UFC loss, which he took in June against Timur Valiev.
UFC’s card on Saturday – their last of 2021 – is now 13 fights in total. It will be headlined by heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus.