After a brief scare, the new main event for UFC 251 is officially set.
Jorge Masvidal will fight on a week’s notice to face Kamaru Usman for the latter’s interim UFC Welterweight TItle. The BMF Champion received his COVID-19 test results in Las Vegas, which came back negative. The event on July 11 will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The promotion shared the announcement on social media.
— UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020
Masvidal (35-13) replaces Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for COVID-19 to start July 4 weekend. The two will finally face off after it was reported a while back that Usman would face off against “Gamebred” sometime in July. This came after the two were a part of a pull-apart brawl during Super Bowl LIV media week. Then, UFC President Dana White stated that the organization had other plans for both fighters, and a new challenger was created for Usman when Burns beat Tyron Woodley back in May.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re headed in that direction,” Masvidal said. “Moving forward after this fight, they’re gonna treat me accordingly. Or I’ll just step in last-minute six days to go and get paid then, I guess. That’s the new scheme I have to do, whatever. But I’m gonna get paid every time out.”
Regarding the outcome of the fight, Masvidal has a simple prediction:
“Cold-blooded as can be. His (Usman) body is grasping for air as I’ve got my hand raised over him. I’m gonna baptize him, man, for the world to see. It’s gonna be violent.”
Masvidal last fought at UFC 244 in November, beating Nate Diaz via TKO. He is currently on a three-fight win streak and is 6-2 in his last eight fights. A highlight of his run has been cementing the record of the fastest KO in UFC history against Ben Askren.
Now that both tested negative, Usman and Masvidal will now make the trip to Abu Dhabi where more testing will be done before fight night.
The co-main event of UFC 251 is still Alexander Volkanovski v. Max Holloway in a rematch for the UFC Featherweight Title. Another title fight on the card will be Petr Yan v. Jose Aldo for the vacant UFC Bantamweight Title.