The co-main event for UFC’s March 5th event will have to change. Lightweight Rafael Fiziev has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him out of his UFC 272 fight against Rafael dos Anjos.
The matchup was scheduled to be a five-round bout between the lightweights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Fiziev announced his departure from the card on Monday.
“I had a great camp and was ready to put on the show,” said Fiziev on Twitter. “I flew all the way to [Las] Vegas from Thailand just to get sick with [COVID-19], for 3 days I’m in [a] hotel bed with fever, bones pain and cough.”
The plan moving forward is to line dos Anjos up with Renato Moicano. The fighters have reportedly verbally agreed to a 160-pound catchweight bout for Saturday, although contracts have not been signed yet. The matchup was first reported by Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.
Fiziev’s fight against dos Anjos was originally scheduled to take place in the main event of a February 19th card. It was bumped to UFC’s March pay-per-view event after visa issues on Fiziev’s side stopped him from entering the U.S.
Fiziev was looking to extend his UFC winning streak, which currently sits at five consecutive victories. His last performance was a stoppage victory against Brad Riddell in late 2021.
With just a few days until UFC 272, it is not known if dos Anjos will get a new opponent. Since the news has broken, many fighters have provided interest in competing on the card. Islam Makhachev, who just competed at last weekend’s UFC event, has offered to meet dos Anjos up at welterweight.
Retired lightweight Paul Felder has also teased stepping in and facing dos Anjos for a second time.
Dos Anjos’ last fight came against Felder, defeating him via split decision in November 2020.
UFC 272 is currently scheduled to be headlined by welterweights Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.
3/2/22 3PM EST UPDATE: The article has been updated to add paragraph 5.