Ramiz Brahimaj removed from UFC debut after cornerman tests positive for COVID-19

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The UFC has removed Ramiz Brahimaj from his promotional debut against Takashi Sato on Saturday after one of Brahimaj’s cornermen tested positive for COVID-19.

Brahimaj (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will be replaced by newcomer Jason Witt, as long as Witt passes a medical clearance that includes a COVID-19 test.

“As a result, the commission has agreed to weigh in Witt separately and he will not participate in [Friday’s] official weigh-ins and face-offs,” the UFC said in a statement.

Sato vs. Witt

The fight is Saturday from UFC Apex in Las Vegas as part of a 10-fight card for UFC on ESPN 12.

Witt (17-5, 0-0 UFC) has lost only one fight in his last 10, and is on a four-bout winning streak. Seven of his fights were won by submission and three by knockout.

Sato (15-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been with the UFC since early 2019. He defeated Ben Saunders via knockout in his debut and lost by third-round submission to Belal Muhammad at UFC 242 in September.

The card includes Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker in the main event.

UFC fighters pulled from fights

Brahimaj is the latest fighter to be pulled from a card due to a positive COVID-19 test in his camp.

Matt Frevola was taken off last week’s UFC on ESPN 11 card two days before the fight. He was the first to be taken off due to a cornerman’s test when Billy Quarantillo, a teammate and a fellow UFC fighter, tested positive for COVID-19. Quarantillo last fought May 30 and had tested negatively, but contracted the disease at some point and was asymptomatic.

A fight on May 8 was canceled outright when Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive upon arriving in Florida, where the UFC held fights during quarantine.

Closeup of a glove and the UFC logo at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
The UFC has dealt with positive COVID-19 tests. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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