In a significant turn of events, UFC 251 is in need of a new title challenger. Gilbert Burns has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his fight against Kamaru Usman.
According to reports from MMAJunkie, Gilbert Burns has been pulled out of the card which is scheduled to take place on July 12 in Yas Islands, Abu Dhabi.
It is being reported that the fight could be scheduled for a later date, however, UFC hasn’t announced anything yet. Along with Gilbert Burns, his brother Herbert Burns and Coach Greg Jones also tested positive for COVID-19.
Gilbert Burns trains at Sanford MMA in South Florida and another high profile MMA fighter to test positive from the same gym was ONE Middleweight and Light heavyweight champion Aung La Nsang.
Gilbert Burns was travelled from Florida to Las Vegas, where he was tested by the UFC. The company is using Las Vegas as the base for further travel into Abu Dhabi, where the fighters will be tested again.
Jorge Masvidal ready to step in to fight Kamaru Usman as a replacement for Gilbert Burns
Meanwhile, BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal took to social media and posted a cryptic message implying that he is ready for any challenge and further insinuating that he is ready to step in against Kamaru Usman.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) July 4, 2020
“Gamebred is animal that has been bred to be game.” Masvidal tweeted.
Initially, it was Jorge Masvidal who was supposed to fight Kamaru Usman, but the talks with the promotion and Dana White went sour over fighter’s pay.
Masvidal’s coach Mike Brown stated earlier this week that despite not having a fight scheduled he was training in the gym and helping Dustin Poirier prepare for the Dan Hooker fight.
“He’s been in every day. He’s in great shape. He’s ready to go,” Masvidal’s head coach Mike Brown told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “We had some great wrestlers in for him to train with. He was working with Bo Nickal and Cody Law, a couple of high-level Penn State wrestlers. He was getting ready for the Usman fight.
“He’s a guy who also to his credit, he’s always developing new tools,” Brown said. “He’s always developing new weapons. Probably more than anybody. Sharpening his knives. Putting in the hours. Sometimes too many hours. He’s a guy who will literally be in the gym for four or five hours at a time working. He’ll do that on occasion where it’s too much but he loves long sessions. It shows.” Mike Brown said of Jorge Masvidal.
UFC 251 MAIN CARD
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway
Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo
Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
Paige VanZant vs. Amanda Ribas
UFC 251 PRELIMS
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry
Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov
Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo
Martin Day vs. Davey Grant
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father dies from Covid-19 complications aged 57