International Fight Week’s UFC 276 has lost a pivotal women’s flyweight fight.
COVID strikes again
MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report the news that Miesha Tate vs. Lauren Murphy was off of this weekend’s card. Murphy would tweet out that she contracted COVID and could not compete, knowing that it could infect others.
“Thanks everyone for the well wishes and concern. I am okay,” Murphy tweeted. “Unfortunately due to a circumstance out of my control, I am unable to compete next weekend. The UFC is trying to rebook the fight on Long Island July 16. We are just waiting for Miesha to confirm.”
“It’s super unfortunate to get COVID right before International Fight Week. But I just couldn’t, in good conscience, go forward with the fight this weekend and risk getting others sick. I’m recovering, and will be in fighting shape soon.”
While it seemed that Tate wanted to move on from the matchup, the UFC quickly rebooked the fight for the UFC Long Island card on July 16. The promotion released a press release confirming COVID was the reason the fight was scrapped.
On Monday, Murphy tweeted out that the fight had been rebooked.
Tate (19-8) is going to make her flyweight debut when the pair meet in July. It will be the first time that the MMA women’s pioneer will be dropping to flyweight after spending her entire career at bantamweight, with a few featherweight appearances thrown in there. Tate was successful last July in her first fight back from retirement when she finished Marion Reneau. However, her comeback story was halted when Ketlen Vieira defeated her in November via unanimous decision.
With a dominant with at UFC Long Island, a flyweight title shot could be in her future.
Murphy (15-5) is coming off a title loss to Valentina Shevchenko at last year’s International Fight Week. She was finished for the first time in her career. The loss snapped her five-fight winning streak as well.
UFC Long Island is set to be headlined by top featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.