UFC: COVID-19 Scraps Pair of Upcoming Welterweight Bouts

Belal Muhammad UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 19: Belal Muhammad poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on June 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Two upcoming UFC bouts — one this weekend, and one originally expected for January — have been scrapped due to COVID-19 complications.

First up, the anticipated fight between welterweight Belal Muhammad and Dhiego Lima. That match-up was booked for this weekend’s UFC Vegas 17 (UFC Fight Night 183) card. However, a positive COVID-19 test by Muhammad has put that fight on ice.

Muhammad announced the news following an early report by MMA Fighting.

“Woke up yesterday feeling like crap, got tested and I was positive for COVID. Sucks but I’ll be back,” Muhammad wrote on social media.

Muhammad (17-3) is currently on a three-fight win streak, and last competed in June when he defeated Lyman Good by unanimous decision.

The UFC Vegas 17 card takes place this Saturday, December 19 at the Apex Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final UFC event of 2020, it streams on ESPN+.

Welterweight Muslim Salikhov, meanwhile, also took to social media to announce that he’s out of his January 16 fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio.

The “King of Kung Fu” has won his last four fights inside the octagon. Overall, Salikhov (17-2) has posted a 4-1 record in the promotion, and has not tasted defeat since his debut in 2017 against Alex Garcia.

Salikhov noted that while he had fallen ill with COVID-19 in September, health problems stemming from the illness became an issue during his latest training camp.

The UFC’s January 16 card is expected to be headlined by former featherweight champ Max Holloway facing off with Calvin Kattar.