For the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, vaccinated UFC fighters will not be tested for COVID-19 during fight week.
Fighters and locals who are fully vaccinated will not have to undergo COVID testing or quarantine at UFC 270 this week in Anaheim, Calif., the UFC’s chief commercial officer confirmed Tuesday, Hunter Campbell, with ESPN. MMA Junkie was the first to break the news. Vaccinated fighters and wedges will still need to test negative in a pre-arrival test and will also be tested for COVID prior to departure.
These protocols are established by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and supported by the UFC, Campbell said. Unvaccinated fighters and corners will still need to be tested twice a week and quarantined.
CSAC chief executive Andy Foster told ESPN that if a vaccinated fighter or wedge is symptomatic, they will be tested for COVID-19. Foster said CSAC doctors on site during the week will pay close attention to this.
The UFC is following protocols set by individual athletic commissions that have jurisdiction and may have different COVID rules in place in another state for the next UFC card, although this trend appears to be spreading across sports.
Earlier this week, the NBA lifted coronavirus testing for fully vaccinated athletes. The NFL began testing vaccinated players and staff less frequently last month. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on Tuesday that the NHL plans to stop COVID testing of asymptomatic athletes and staff after the All-Star break.