The lineup of UFC Vegas 17 has seen many changes overnight with the loss of four fights including a welterweight fight between Belal Muhammed and Dhiego Lima.
Muhammed tests positive for COVID-19, fight vs Lima off
The fight between Muhammed and Lima is off due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from Muhammed.
Woke up yesterday feeling like crap got tested and i was positive for covid sucks but I’ll be back— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) December 15, 2020
The UFC announced that they plan to keep that fight together and rebook the matchup for a later date. The exciting matchup pairs two fighters both looking to continue three-fight win streaks, so that will still be a matchup to watch whenever it is made in the future.
Christos Giagos replaces Rick Glenn vs Carlton Minus
Rick Glenn has withdrawn from his fight with Carlton Minus, and been replaced at the last minute by Christos Giagos.
Given the last-minute nature of the replacement, the fight will go forward as a 160 lb catchweight, rather than the lightweight fight that Minus was expecting.
Giagos is 2-2 thus far in his UFC career and is coming off an extended injury layoff, having not fought since a decision loss to Drakkar Klose at UFC 241 in 2019. Minus lost his UFC debut vs Matthew Semelsberger and will be trying to get his UFC career on track.
Aiemann Zahabi tests positive for COVID-19, fight with Drako Rodriguez cancelled
UFC bantamweight Aiemann Zahabi has tested positive for COVID-19, and he has subsequently been pulled from UFC Vegas 17.
It’s heartbreaking for me not to be there fight week in Vegas but thankfully my covid 19 symptoms haven’t been too bad so far. Wishing you all love and safety during this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/g7YSELZYuH— Aiemann Zahabi (@Aiemannzahabi) December 17, 2020
As a result of this, his expected bout against Contender Series prospect Drako Rodriguez has been canceled from Saturday's card. Unlike the fight between Lima and Muhammed, it will not be rescheduled.
Zahabi, the brother of famed trainer Firas, was looking to get back in the cage for the first time since May of 2019, but it looks that his extended hiatus will continue. The Montreal native is 1-2 since debuting in the UFC back in 2017. Rodriguez had been looking to make his UFC debut after securing a submission win on the Contender Series back in September.
Karl Roberson test positive for COVID-19, Fight vs Dalcha Lungiambula off
As stated on an Instagram story, (h/t MMA Junkie). UFC middleweight Karl Roberson has revealed that COVID-19 is the reason his fight vs Dalcha Lungiambula Lungiambula is off Saturday's card.
Roberson was attempting to bounce back from a loss to Marvin Vettori in June, while Lungiambula had yet to fight in 2020 after last competing in a losing effort against Magomed Ankalaev back in late 2019.
Like the Zahabi vs Rodriguez fight, the UFC did not announce it will be rebooked in the future, so what comes next for each fighter remains to be seen.