Recent UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos has been forced to withdraw from his UFC ‘Fight Island’ rescheduled matchup with fellow one-time championship chaser, Glover Teixeira, after testing positive for COVID-19.

This marks the second occasion the all-Brazilian affair has fallen to the wayside, following a shelved matchup at UFC Fight Night Vegas 10 last weekend – where Teixeira was ruled out of the headlining bout after he himself had returned a positive test result for the novel coronavirus. News of Santos’ removal and positive test was first penned by Combate reporter, Marcelo Barone.

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In what would’ve marked his first Octagon walk since his close UFC 239 title challenge loss to recent vacating champion, Jon Jones – Muay Thai practitioner, Santos has recently recovered from a number of critical leg injuries sustained in the five-round affair. The defeat to Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay, Jones marked Santos’ first blemish since his move to the division in the final quarter of 2018.

Himself left opponent-less this time around, Minas Gerais veteran, Teixeira was attempting to earn his second title opportunity under the UFC’s banner, seemingly in a purple patch of form. Getting his hand raised in all four of his last contests, Teixeira added another former title hopeful to his gleaming winning résumé earlier this year – with an eventual fifth-round knockout of Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.

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The five-round drubbing followed other victories over former Fights Night Global gold holder, Nikita Krylov – before submission successes opposite Moldovan striker, Ion ‘The Hulk’ Cuţelaba, and Karl Roberson. Teixeira first challenged for 205-pound spoils against the aforenoted, Jones at UFC 172 in April of 2014 – dropping a unanimous decision defeat.

With the October 3rd. event set to be headlined by a potential title eliminator at bantamweight between former division queen, Holly Holm, and surging challenger, Irene Aldana – it is currently unknown if the organization will attempt to rebook Santos vs. Teixeira once again or find a new opponent for the latter. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.