Matt Brown announces positive COVID-19 test, removal from UFC on ESPN 31

·2 min read

Matt Brown will have to wait a little bit longer for his 29th walk to the UFC cage.

Tuesday, Brown (23-18 MMA, 16-12 UFC) announced his removal from UFC on ESPN 31 due to COVID-19 on social media after he tested positive for the virus. Brown, 40, also revealed that he’s symptomatic. It’s unclear if his scheduled opponent Bryan Barberena (15-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) will remain on the card.

UFC on ESPN 31 takes place Saturday, Dec. 4 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN/ESPN+.

“Sh*tty day today I tested positive for covid so my fight next weekend is off,” Brown wrote in a tweet.

Soon after Brown provided more details in a follow-up tweet, adding, “I was sick af over the weekend but feel better for the most part now. Lost smell today. Did a jog outside today and lungs burned some I thought maybe it was just the cold air but maybe I’m still sick. I’ll get over it quickly and go from there.”

Brown, 40, is one of the longest-tenured fighters on the promotion’s roster, having competed under the banner since his debut at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in 2007. After a rough stretch of five losses in six fights from July 2014 to December 2016, Brown hit a late career resurgence. In his most recent four fights, Brown went 3-1 including a violent knockout of Dhiego Lima in his most recent bout, which took place in June.

With the change, the current UFC on ESPN 31 lineup includes:

  • Rob Font vs. Jose Aldo

  • Jimmy Crute vs. Jamahal Hill

  • Jake Matthews vs. Jeremiah Wells

  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Claudio Puelles

  • Rafael Fiziev vs. Brad Riddell

  • Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Mallory Martin

  • Brendan Allen vs. Chris Curtis

  • Bryan Barberena vs. TBA

  • Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Manel Kape

  • Vince Morales vs. Louis Smolka

  • Clay Guida vs. Leonardo Santos

  • Mickey Gall vs. Alex Morono

  • Maki Pitolo vs. Dusko Todorovic