Carlos Neto is one of Kattar’s coaches and he tested positive for the coronavirus antibody before the event, which almost led to the bout against Stephens being pulled from the card.
“My coach, Carlos Neto, he actually tested positive for the [COVID-19] antibody in the beginning,” Kattar said to MMA Fighting. “We didn’t know until weigh-in day that he was actually going to be able to corner with us. So that was a quick scare. We were nervous. And especially, [we didn’t know] if the fight was going to happen. The last time we got the plug pulled by ESPN. You never know when they’re going to pull the plug, and when you see one [positive], you don’t want it to multiply. I’m glad we were the first show. Some of these other shows on Wednesday and Saturday, maybe they’re a little bit more nervous than us. But I think we kicked off the first one pretty smooth.”
Neto did test positive for the coronavirus antibody before UFC 249, but still cornered Kattar at the event.
Kattar says that despite the positive test, but he and his team still managed to deliver at the event.
“Through everything that had happened, I wasn’t looking for a way out of that fight since January and I wasn’t going to start now [so close to] fight night,” Kattar said. “We made it happen on our end and did everything we could that was our obligation. We did everything we said and delivered at the end of it. I’m just excited for another opportunity next and hopefully it’s a big one. I just want to keep capitalizing on big moment opportunities and see how many I can snowball. Let’s get a streak together.”
The coach wasn’t the only person to have a positive coronavirus test before UFC 249, as Ronaldo Souza and two of his cornermen also tested positive.