On less than a week’s notice, Jorge Masvidal appears to be in serious discussions with the UFC about fighting welterweight champion Kamaru Usman for the title in the main event of UFC 251 on Fight Island next weekend.
Masvidal had hinted on social media yesterday that he was willing to step in to fight Usman after his original opponent Gilbert Burns was forced out of the match-up due to testing positive for coronavirus.
Now ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that Masvidal is well on his way to officially signing up to lock horns with his rival, Usman at the event off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
“I am told as of right now, talks are on going,” Helwani stated on Sports Center. “I’m told those talks are moving in a positive direction.
“This morning it seemed like a long shot that this fight would happen. Now, it seems barring any last minute hiccups — and there are still a few more hurdles that they have to jump over — people are very confident that in exactly seven days from now, people are going to see one of the most anticipated fights of 2020. A fight that we didn’t think is going to happen, now it seems like maybe UFC’s most bitter feud is actually going to play out.”
There are still steps that would have to be overcome though. Usman and Masvidal still have to be tested for Covid-19 themselves in Las Vegas before they would be allowed to get on chartered planes to Yas Island, while they would then also have to take another test on the Friday before the fight.
Nevertheless, the two parties seem willing to undergo that process, which would seal UFC 251 as the most stacked card of the year, with the Usman vs. Masvidal title fight joining a line-up that also features a featherweight title rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway, plus Jose Aldo fighting Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight belt.