Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission Add Detailed Covid 19 Protocol @ 263

The UFC is in Arizona for the first time February 2019 for Saturday’s UFC 263 ESPN+ streaming pay-per-view card. The Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission oversees the event which is headlined by a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori. In the co-main event, flyweight kingpin Deiveson Figueiredo faces Brandon Moreno. Both contests are rematches. A review of the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission MMA rules brings up several concerns with pre-fight medical requirements for the competitors.

Arizona compares favorably with the California Athletic Commission (CSAC), which is one of the better athletic commissions in the world regarding athlete requirements, for blood work (HIV, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, and Hepatitis C Antibody. Negative and non-reactive results are acceptable), physical and eye exam requirements. California requires blood work be performed no more than one month from date of application, Arizona does not make this demand. Arizona medical tests expire on December 31 of the year they are performed while California’s are good for one year.

The state requires the UFC to present an operational plan for the following:

  1. recommended physical distancing guidelines

  2. protective/prevention measures and equipment

  3. testing and daily screening procedures

  4. isolation guidelines

  5. positive test procedures

  6. cleaning procedures

  7. staffing requirements

  8. weigh-in and event walkout procedures

  9. locker-room assignment and cleaning procedures

  10. post-event follow-up procedures.

The commission requires a negative COVID-19 test for entry into any areas the commission identifies as restricted. It does not list these areas in the document.

The commission will check temperatures on all event-related personnel, “starting 72 hours in advance of arrival to the event venue, or upon arrival to the host hotel, whichever comes first.”

Those who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or test positive “shall be disqualified and/or removed from the area for quarantine or directed to a physician for immediate medical care. The Commission shall notify the Arizona Department of Health Services (“AZDHS”) of any person testing positive, including positive serology results.”

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