Another week, another last minute change to a UFC card. This time, it’s UFC Vegas 9, which has lost two fighters the afternoon of: Kevin Natividad, and Thiago Moises.
Luckily, only one fight has been lost. That’s because the UFC opted to have a back-up fighter weigh in Friday for the featherweight bout between Natividad and Brian Kelleher. That replacement fighter, Ray Rodriguez, now gets the nod.
MMA Fighting was first to report the news.
Earlier in the week, Natividad had what was believed to be a false positive for COVID-19. During Thursday’s UFC Vegas 9 media day, he was sequestered in his room, appearing only via video chat.
The reason for Natividad’s withdrawal, however, has not been officially confirmed.
Rodriguez (16-6) has not fought since a win in Combate Americas last November. At 3-1 in his last four, his only loss of late was to current UFC fighter Tony Gravely.
Moises, meanwhile, is off the card due to testing positive for COVID-19. Combate was first to report that development. Unlike Natividad, Moises did participate in the virtual media day this week, which has fighters brought before a webcam one-by-one by the UFC, with everything wiped down between fighters.
Moises was expected to face Jalin Turner at lightweight.
Earlier in Fight Week, UFC Vegas 9 also lost Karol Rosa vs. Sijara Eubanks, with Rosa falling off the card due to complications from her weight cut. As it stands, the event will now move forward with just eight fights.