UFC on ESPN+ 31 takes another hit, less than two hours before the start of the event.
Gerald Meerschaert tested positive for COVID-19, canceling his light-heavyweight bout with Ed Herman. Combate was the first to report the news, although Meerschaert confirmed his test result via Twitter.
Tested positive for Covid so fights off. Feel healthy and will do everything I can to keep it that way and keep those around me safe.
— Gerald Meerschaert (@The_Real_GM3) August 1, 2020
The card will continue with nine fights at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The coronavirus played a role in Meerschaert’s last appearance. His opponent, Ian Heinisch was temporarily removed from the card after one of his cornerman tested positive for the virus.
It was later proven the test was a false negative and the fight remained on UFC 250 on June 6. Meerschaert lost by first-round knockout. The defeat came after he earned a third-round submission victory against Deron Winn at UFC 248 in March.
A 25-time UFC veteran, Herman is coming in with a two-fight win streak. He most recently defeated Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN+ 21 this past November.
Meerschaert is the fourth fighter to be removed from the card in the last two days. Middleweight Eric Spicely withdrew from his bout due to weight issues. Charles Ontiveros stepped in for Spicely to face Markus Perez, but was deemed ineligible.
Bantamweight Ray Borg also withdrew from his bout with Nate Maness. UFC newcomer Johnny Munoz stepped in on short notice to fight Maness.
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.