Jorge Masvidal (Image by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by means of Getty Images)
Jorge Masvidal and his manager tease UFC 251 fill-in with COVID-19 test.
Since the news broke that the initially set up welterweight title headliner for UFC 251 was off, plenty in the MMA community crammed for Jorge Masvidal to fill in on about a week’s notice to challenge Kamaru Usman on Fight Island. Despite reports from the immediate aftermath, we just got teased that such a fight could still happen.
Masvidal’s manager, Malki Kawa, posted photos of Masvidal on his Instagram story that show him on the phone and getting a COVID-19 test done on him. The captions on the photos, respectively, were “negotiating” and “COVID testing.”
A teammate and friend of Masvidal’s also posted an image of a negative test with the caption, “Fight Island here we come.”
Could Jorge Masvidal be teasing a fill-in at UFC 251?
Based on these photos, there is perhaps a chance that Masvidal could somehow fill in as the challenger for a UFC welterweight title showdown with Usman. Usman was originally scheduled to face Gilbert Burns, but Burns was forced out of the bout on July 3 after he and two of his cornermen tested positive for coronavirus.
As of press time, the UFC website has yet to formally reveal Burns’ withdrawal and favorable COVID-19 test– and is still promoting Usman vs. Burns on its homepage. Preliminary reports had actually mentioned Usman had not flown to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Initial reports likewise had actually mentioned that the initially set up co-main event featherweight title rematch in between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway would be gone up to the main event slot for UFC 251– the first UFC card on Battle Island– while the bantamweight title battle in between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo would go up to the co-main event.
Even if Masvidal does not wind up substituting Burns, this might show that we’re maybe not far off from the return of Masvidal to the Octagon. Masvidal, who hasn’t been seen considering that his BMF title win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244, has actually been on the sidelines as of late, at war with the UFC over pay, even asking to be launched at one point.
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