After the departure of Gilbert Burns from UFC 251 due to a positive COVID-19 test, the UFC is now nearing making short-notice main event between Jorge Masvidal and UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
First reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the negotiations have concluded, and now the parties await a COVID-19 test before flying to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, where UFC 251 is set to happen on July 11th.
Both fighters have travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the hub city for the UFC’s transportation from the United States to Abu Dhabi. The fighters will stay at a hotel where they will take their COVID-19 tests and quarantine until the results come back.
The UFC has yet to release a statement on the status of the welterweight fight on UFC 251.
Burns’ positive COVID-19 test returned on Wednesday night before the UFC’s charter flight to Abu Dhabi departed. Due to Burns testing positive, his fight against Usman was cancelled, and neither fighter boarded the flight.
Masvidal’s strong 2019 run threw him into the picture of top welterweights. His win over Darren Till in March of 2019, as well as his viral flying knee knockout of Ben Askren, made him one of the most discussed fighters in the UFC.
His last fight was against Nate Diaz, defeating the Californian after three rounds due to a doctor’s stoppage. The bout was the main event of a pay-per-view card at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA.
UFC 251 has two other championship fights scheduled, with the promotion’s featherweight and flyweight belts on the line.