Jorge Masvidal has stepped in to replace Gilbert Burns for his first UFC world title bid only six days ahead of the big event against face Kamaru Usman on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi.
Usman was slated to defend his welterweight world title against Burns at UFC 251 in the UAE but the Brazilian withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, UFC officials confirmed the 35-year-old Masvidal will take on Usman provided both fighters pass a series of pre-fight coronavirus tests.
Masvidal and Usman will undergo tests in the United States before departure to Abu Dhabi, again on arrival and on the Friday before the fight.
Usman, 33, has been UFC welterweight champion since defeating Tyron Woodley in March 2019. He has only lost once in 17 MMA bouts.
Masvidal hit the headlines last year when he defeated Nate Diaz and also recorded the fastest knockout in UFC history when he floored Ben Askren after just five seconds at UFC 239.