Jorge Masvidal has suffered a big setback ahead of his fight with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on Saturday.
Masvidal, who will be challenging Usman for the welterweight title on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, has learned that his head coach Mike Brown has contracted COVID-19.
As a result, Brown will not be able to travel to the United Arab Emirates and consequently, will not be in Masvidal’s corner on the night of the fight.
Brown became aware of his positive diagnosis on Monday during a pre-fight screening in Las Vegas ahead of the journey to the UAE.
Paulino Hernandez, Jesus Gallo and Abraham Kawa will remain as Masvidal’s cornermen but a fourth person has yet to be confirmed according to ESPN.
“Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person,” Brown told Ariel Helwani.
“Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I have ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey.
“The truth is this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed one of the highest fight IQs ever seen in the sport.
“As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart.”
There are no shortage of exciting fights set to take place on Saturday’s card with Jose Aldo and Petr Yan set to face off for the bantamweight title while Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway will go up against each other for the featherweight belt.