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Thiago Santos tests positive for COVID-19, Oct. 3 fight against Glover Teixeira canceled

Thiago Santos | Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A UFC light heavyweight contenders bout between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira has once again been rocked by COVID-19.

The matchup, rescheduled from Sept. 12 due to a COVID-19 positive from Teixeira, has been canceled again after Santos tested positive for the virus and was ruled out of the new date on Oct. 3. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with people with knowledge of the situation following an initial report by Combate.

It is not yet known if the promotion will seek a replacement opponent for Teixeira.

After being booked as the headliner for a UFC Vegas 10 this past Saturday in Las Vegas, Santos and Teixeira were set to act as the co-main event of an Oct. 3 show in Abu Dhabi headlined by bantamweights Holly Holm and Irene Aldana. The winner of the Santos-Teixeira fight was potentially next in line for a title shot against either Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. Reyes and Blachowicz fight at UFC 253 for the light heavyweight championship left vacant by Jon Jones.

Teixeira looked to continue an impressive four-fight win streak that extended into 2020 when he defeated Anthony Smith by fifth-round TKO this past May. The 40-year-old Brazilian previously competed for the light heavyweight title at UFC 172 in April 2014, losing to Jones by unanimous decision.

The Oct. 3 event was to be Santos’ first fight of the year. Following a split decision loss to Jones at UFC 239 in July 2019, he was sidelined for over one year as he recovered from a serious knee injury that required surgery.

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