Welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns has been forced out of his headlining fight with current champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 in a week’s time on Yas Island after testing positive for Covid-19.
Burns, his brother (and fellow UFC fighter) Herbert Burns and his wrestling coach Greg Jones all tested positive for the disease during a pre-fight test in Las Vegas before they were due to fly out to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
“Devastating news, not feeling well but I’m going to win this battle!” Burns wrote on Twitter. “Stay safe out there! Much love.”
At this stage it’s not known if Usman will remain on the card, with the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington already hinting at their interest in fighting for the title on just a week’s notice
“Gamebred is an animal that has been bred to be game,” Masvidal posted on his Twitter account after the news broke, while Covington stated that, “You know who they’re gonna call Marty and it ain’t the Ghostbusters Junior!”
However, even if Usman is pulled from the line-up, the good thing is that UFC 251 remains a strong card that already has another two title fights in place, with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski rematching Max Holloway, while Jose Aldo takes on Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight belt.