The main UFC 251 event was derailed from the corona virus as Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and is out of combat with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Several people close to the situation informed MMA junkie on Friday night that Burns (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) was pulling out of his fight with Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) that would take place next week was in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The fight is likely to be postponed at a later date. People asked for anonymity because the UFC has not yet made an official announcement.
Burns traveled to Florida from Florida, where he trained for UFC 251. The action uses the city as a hub to send athletes overseas to Abu Dhabi and test them on COVID-1
All three men did not board the charter flight from Las Vegas. Usman also didn’t get on the plane.
The news of Burns’ positive COVID-19 test follows his MMA teammate from Sanford, Aung La N Sang, and reveals that he recently had a positive test.
Many thought Usman would fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251, but when Masvidal’s contract negotiations went badly, Burns, who had won victories against Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley earlier this year, accepted an offer.
Two more title fights are planned for UFC 251: the rematch of featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski with former champion Max Holloway and the battle for the vacant bantamweight belt between Jose Aldo and Petr Yan.