The UFC 251 will feature one of the most expected fights in the recent few years after Jorge Masvidal agreed to jump in and replace Gilbert Burns in the fight against Kamaru Usman.
The two big rivals, who couldn’t find a mutual language before, struck a deal in just a few hours after the news broke out that Burns tested positive for COVID-19.
Negotiations for Usman vs. Masvidal are done, per sources. All sides agreed to terms. Usman is en route to LV; Masvidal landed earlier. Once at the hotel, they’ll have to take a COVID test and then quarantine while awaiting results. If negative, they’ll fly to AD likely tomorrow.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 5, 2020
Just to remind you, UFC 251, which takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, is scheduled for next Saturday. The highlight of the event should have been the contest for the welterweight title between the champion Kamaru Usman and the challenger, Gilbert Burns. Yet, due to all the circumstances that happened, things had to change.
Dana White and the organization had to look for a replacement, and they first reached out to Masvidal. It is still unknown what they offered to the BMF belt holder, who previously refused to meet Usman. For sure, the current circumstances aren’t good at all for Gamebred, who has less than a week to prepare for one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC.
According to some rumors, White and the people around him, made a financial offer better than anyone could imagine.
Usman and Masvidal are in a feud for a long time, and their trash talk, which often exceeds the boundaries of usual, immediately began. The champion is 16-1 right now, and hasn’t fought since December and UFC 245 once he defeated Colby Covington, in his first title defense.
If Jorge Masvidal fights Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at #UFC251 on Saturday, no fighter in UFC history would have had more career fights (48) before receiving their first title shot.@GamebredFighter has paid his dues 🏆 pic.twitter.com/FIux2DkD4U
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 5, 2020
The Nigerian nightmare won the title against Tyron Woodley, and prior to that defeated numerous big names, among which Rafael dos Anjos, Damian Maia, Leon Edwards.
Masvidal is 35-13, and is a veteran of the sport, and one of the most popular fighters. He, too, had a long pause. After beating Nate Diaz in the BMF title match at the UFC 244 early November, he didn’t fight. Before that one, Gamebred defeated Ben Askren, via that famous knockout, and Darren Till.
Apart from this fight, UFC 251 will feature two more title matches – Volkanovski vs. Holloway for the featherweight title, and Jose Aldo vs. Petr Yan for the bantamweight title.