Jorge Masvidal To Step In And Fight Kamuru Usman For Welterweight Title

UFC have confirmed that Jorge Masvidal will step in to replace Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 251 against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Masvidal has never fought for a world title in the UFC, but will step in on six days notice to replace Burns after the Brazilian tested positive for COVID-19.

The Miami native passed the first COVID-19 test in Las Vegas and will depart for ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi – where the event is taking place – on Monday where he will undergo more tests ahead of next Saturday’s main event.

Masvidal has not fought in the UFC since November when he defeated Nate Diaz via a doctor’s stoppage at the end of the third round.

He has been on an impressive streak in his last three bouts however scoring highlight reel knockouts over welterweight contenders Darren Till and Ben Askren in addition to the win over Diaz.

Usman though will represent a very tough challenge for Masvidal having won all of his 11 bouts in the UFC so far and coming off the back of a dominant win over Colby Covington in December.

Masvidal stepping in on such short notice will no doubt come as a relief to UFC President Dana White while the inclusion of one of the sport’s most popular names will give added intrigue to the card as a whole.

The co-main event sees featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski make his first title defence against the man he defeated for the belt in December, Max Holloway.

The main card also features Petr Yan taking on Jose Aldo for the recently vacated bantamweight title as well as Jessica Andrade taking on Rose Namajunas in a rematch from UFC 237 last May.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here View all posts by Oisin McQueirns