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It's official: Jorge Masvidal will step in and face Kamaru Usman at UFC 251

Liz Roscher
·2-min read

Jorge Masvidal has stepped in to fight Kamaru Usman at next weekend’s UFC 251, the UFC officially announced on Sunday.

News that a deal had been reached was originally reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

Usman was originally scheduled to fight Gilbert Burns at UFC’s very first event on the storied Fight Island. Burns was forced to pull out on Saturday when he tested positive for COVID-19, leaving a major hole in an event that’s scheduled to happen in less than a week.

Enter Masvidal to save UFC 251’s main event. He was Usman’s intended opponent for this fight, but negotiations stalled when he asked for a bigger cut. Now it appears that the two will fight after all — if they clear a few hurdles first.

Those hurdles? All COVID-19 tests. Helwani tweeted that both Usman and Masvidal will need to travel to Las Vegas and get tested there. If they both test negative, they’ll fly to Abu Dhabi on Monday where they will be tested again. An official announcement from the UFC isn’t expected until both Masvidal and Usman have multiple negative tests.

Ibrahim Kawa, one of Masvidal’s managers, posted a video of Masvidal just after he landed in Vegas on a private jet.

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