The fight between Kamaru Usman (16-1) and Jorge Masvidal (35-13) has been agreed to headline UFC 251 this coming weekend on ‘Fight Island’, ESPN reported. Yet, prior to be able to face one another inside the Octagon, the competitors must undergo a number of tests for COVID-19 and be cleared.
The original challenger, Gilbert Burns was withdrawn from the bout against Usman, due to positive result.
Both, Usman and Masvidal are currently in Las Vegas, where they get tested, and are required to quarantine. Upon arrival to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE they are scheduled to undergo another test and quarantine.
On the day of weigh-in ceremony they get tested again. Once cleared, the UFC welterweight title bout can go ahead.
The fight between the defending 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman and the BMF belt winner Jorge Masvidal was originally targeted to headline UFC International Fight Week. Due to coronavirus crisis the events have been rescheduled.
The fight initially fell off when the promotion and “Gamebred” didn’t come to a financial agreement. Burns was named as the next in line to challenge for the belt.
As things changed a week before the event, Masvidal raised his hand to step in and save the show. The parties negotiated and now we are here.
The Usman vs. Masvidal matchup is dubbed one of the biggest fights in 2020. Check out the preview clip below shared by UFC President Dana White (via Twitter).
In his previous outing late last year Kamaru Usman retained the belt via fifth-round TKO against Colby Covington. He claimed the title against former champion Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision in March 2019.
Jorge Masvidal was last in action in November 2019, when he took the “Baddest Mother F*cker” belt via third-round TKO (doctor stoppage) against Nate Diaz. Before that he secured the quickest KO in UFC history, dropping Ben Askren in five seconds with flying knee.