Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski Image Credit: Zuffa

Dubai: Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight title defence against Brian Ortega at UFC 260 has been postponed after the Australian said on Sunday he tested positive for COVID-19.

Volkanovski’s fight with Ortega, originally scheduled to be the co-main event on March 27 in Las Vegas, will be rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols. The UFC is yet to announce a new date for the bout.

Volkanovski, 32, said he tested negative before leaving Australia and before entering the UFC bubble but returned a positive result in the latest round of testing.

“So devastated to share that I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and my fight is off and will be rescheduled,” he tweeted.

“We have worked so hard getting ready for this fight and I’m absolutely gutted this has happened. We followed every policy and process to remain COVID free but it wasn’t meant to be this time.”

Volkanovski (22-1) has been the featherweight champion since he defeated Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019. He also beat the Hawaiian in a rematch at UFC 251 in July 2020.

Meanwhile, Derek Brunson had six takedowns and dominated control of their middleweight fight in a unanimous decision over Kevin Holland on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Brunson took the fight 49-45, 49-46, 49-46 and improved to 22-7. Holland, the 10th-ranked middleweight coming in, fell to 21-6.

While Holland did the non-stop talking, Brunson set out to do the winning.

“I wanted to knock him out,” Brunson said after the bout. “Everyone can’t be pretty. Dana White, Mick Maynard, Sean Shelby, I’ve been putting in mad work in this division for so long. I wasn’t really too excited about this match-up.

“I wanted a top five. They probably didn’t like my performance too much so give me a top five and let’s see what happens.”

Brunson landed 226 total strikes to Holland’s 190 but was in control of the bout for nearly 17 minutes.

Earlier, Max Griffin defeated Song Kenan in their welterweight bout via TKO by punch in Round 1. Griffin landed 11 shots to the head in 2:20.

In other bouts, Montserrat Conejo won a unanimous decision over Cheyanne Buys in their strawweight fight, Adrian Yanez won by TKO 27 seconds into Round 3 over Gustavo Lopez, and Tai Tuivasa earned a TKO by punches over Harry Hunsucker 49 seconds into their heavyweight bout.