Zhang Weili & Li Jingliang (© David G. McIntyre-USA TODAY Sports + IG_ @saaihalilintar)

UFC fighters forced to leave China as Corona virus outbreak continues

Several UFC fighters have been forced out of China due to the Corona virus, to contain the spread and ensure that their fights in the octagon go through

The global outbreak of the deadly Corona virus has made it’s mark. As of now, over 500 people have tragically died as a result of the virus, and over 27,000 have been afflicted by it, most of those cases in China. As the situation in China has gotten increasingly serious, UFC fighters have now been forced to leave the country to ensure travel visas, and avoid the deadly Corona virus.

The TSA recently issued new restrictions for non-US citizens travelling to the United States, and who have been in China within the past 14 days. This has forced UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang, and countrymen Li Jingliang and Xiaonan Yan to leave their home country. As of now all three UFC fighters and their teams, have made their way to Thailand to continue their camps. None of them have shown any Corona virus symptoms or other health struggles.

“It’s the quarantine because of the virus,” Pedro Jordao; Zhang’s jiu-jitsu coach explained to MMA Fighting. “You can’t enter America otherwise.”


Zhang, the first UFC champion from China, is set to defend her title against former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who recently issued an apology for a controversial joke about the Corona virus. The two will meet in the co-main event at UFC 249, march 7th, in Las Vegas. Zhang has set up her training operations in the Thai capital Bangkok.

Jingliang, who is on a three fight winning streak, also competes at UFC 249. The Chinese welterweight will face divisional staple Neil Magny in an important bout for the division.

Luckily no UFC fighters or team mates in China or abroad have been directly afflicted with the Corona virus.

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com