UFC on ESPN 12 has taken a hit.
Ramiz Brahimaj has been removed from his fight due to a cornerman testing positive for COVID-19. The UFC confirmed the news via a statement. The Las Vegas-based promotion has also found a replacement opponent for Takashi Sato.
“Due to a positive COVID-19 test result from one of his cornermen, Ramiz Brahimaj has been removed from his bout against Takashi Sato. Replacing Brahimaj will be UFC newcomer Jason Witt, pending medical clearance including a COVID-19 test,” the UFC statement read. “As a result, the commission has agreed to weigh in Witt separately and he will not participate in tomorrow’s official weigh-ins and faceoffs. Witt will be making his UFC debut having won nine of his last 10 bouts, including his last four. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, Witt has finished seven of his fights by submission, with another three by knockout.”
Brahimaj was expected to make his UFC debut and have his first fight since 2019. The Fortis MMA product was expected to be on the Contender Series in 2019 against Miguel Baeza. But, a tumor was found near his eye which forced him out of competition for a year.
This is the second straight UFC event where a cornerman tested positive. At UFC on ESPN 11, Matt Frevola was pulled from his bout against Frank Camacho after his corner and UFC fighter Billy Quarantillo tested positive for the coronavirus.