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UFC further tightens COVID-19 protocols for Saturday's event

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The UFC was one of the first major sports to return during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and it has very evidently been tremendously challenging. At last week's UFC 256, Gilbert Burns was pulled from the main event due to a positive test for COVID-19. The week before that, at UFC on ESPN 19, Kevin Holland was pulled from the main event due to a positive test. The main event at UFC on ESPN+ 41 on Saturday was originally scheduled to be Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev, both fighters tested positive for COVID-19. And earlier today, Belal Muhammad tested positive for COVID-19 and was out.

MMA writer Alex Scaffidi recently tweeted that the league has tightened up rules around transportation further.

The following applies to all athletes and corners participating in UFC Fight Night on December 19th in Las Vegas. Please read this information carefully.

Use of Transportation During Fight Week

To ensure the integrity of UFC’s Covid-19 testing and quarantine protocols, no athlete or corner will be permitted to use any vehicle not officially approved or arranged by UFC once the athlete or corner has checked in for Fight Week. This includes personally owned vehicles, rental vehicles, a friend’s vehicle, or ride-share vehicles, such as Uber or Lyft.

This policy applies to ALL athletes and corners, including those based in Las Vegas, as well as those based outside of Las Vegas.

In addition, any athlete or corner who leaves the hotel property without coordinating with UFC Event Operations, including post-fight, will not be allowed back into the hotel.

If an athlete or corner needs transportation for any reason during Fight Week, including to go to the market, the UFC Performance Institute, or UFC APEX, they must call [redacted with UFC Event Operations.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

The hotel is basically a bubble, and leaving it without coordination basically pops the bubble.