Three fights off of Taura MMA 10 due to COVID-related issues, including Rousimar Palhares’ MMA return

    Taura MMA 10 goes down Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but three bouts were removed from the lineup due to COVID-19-related issues, promotion officials told MMA Fighting.

    Rousimar Palhares, one of the most popular names on the card, was left without an opponent after short-notice replacement Antonio Gordillo couldn’t leave his hometown of Catamarca to Buenos Aires on Wednesday. Catamarca, located 700 miles away from the capital of Argentina, started another lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and the MMA fighter wasn’t allowed to go to Buenos Aires and embark on a flight to Brazil.

    Palhares is now expected to make his Taura MMA debut against a yet-to-be-defined opponent at the Dec. 6 show in Rio de Janeiro. The former WSOF welterweight champion will be competing for the first time since Dec. 2018. “Toquinho” is 1-4-1 since leaving WSOF in 2015.

    Two matchups fell through due to positive COVID-19 tests. Bellator veteran Bruna Vargas was the first to withdraw from the card due to the infection, followed by featherweight champion Isaque Moura. They were scheduled to fight Maria Laura Alves and Gian Sarturi, respectively.

    Taura MMA is requesting all fighters to undergo COVID-19 testing before leaving for Rio de Janeiro, and then subjecting athletes and corners to two more tests before fight night. The card features two championship bouts and the debut of UFC veterans Sergio Moraes and Wendell Oliveira.

    Felipe Gheno vs. Bruno Mesquita — for flyweight title
    Ary Farias vs. Johnny Campbell — for interim bantamweight title
    Serginho Moraes vs. Jared Revel
    Wendell Oliveira vs. Rene Pessoa
    Nilton Gaviao vs. Manoel dos Santos
    Thiago Oliveira vs. Andrey Augusto
    Denis Silva vs. Kaue Rodrigues
    Thaiane Souza vs. Simoni Santos
    Pedro Finger vs. Tiago Souza

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