Jorge Masvidal And Kamaru Usman Have Reportedly Agreed To A UFC 251 Fight

Next Saturday’s UFC 251 main event was supposed to be a welterweight title showdown between champ Kamaru Usman and No. 1 contender Gilbert Burns on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, but after Burns was removed from the card after tweeting he wasn’t feeling well prior to UFC’s charter flight, the main event suddenly fell into question.

Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, the Nos. 2 and 3 ranked contenders respectively, both indicated their interest in taking the fight on short notice, and it appears the BMF champ is the one getting the call. Masvidal and Usman are both reportedly headed to Las Vegas, where they will be tested for COVID-19, and if both are negative will take a flight to Abu Dhabi, per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

The initial co-main event between Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway for the featherweight title will be bumped into the main event spot, per Helwani, but given there was tremendous anticipation and hope for a showdown between Usman and Masvidal after Gamebred took down Nate Diaz last November. An announcement of the fight will likely wait until both fighters have tested negative and are on a plane for Abu Dhabi, as UFC will not want to create buzz for a fight before they at least have them on the way. Still, it’s quite the replacement fight and given Masvidal’s sudden rise to being one of the sport’s most popular fighters, will only increase interest in the card.