Who Will Not Be In Jorge Masvidal’s Corner At UFC 251?
Fighting on just one week’s notice, Jorge Masvidal will have to do everything in his power to accomplish a goal years in the making. Unfortunately, for him, he will not have one of his biggest supporters at ringside as he challenges Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 251.
Combate was the first to report that American Top Team coach Mike Brown has tested positive for COVID-19. Brown, who traveled from Florida, where coronavirus numbers have spiked significantly in recent weeks, to Las Vegas, tested positive before a flight to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Due to the UFC’s latest testing procedures, Brown was not allowed on the plane.
“Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person,” Brown would state to ESPN. “Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I’ve ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey.
“As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart.”
Brown (26-9) had an MMA career that started in 2001 and ended in 2013. A former WEC Featherweight Champion, Brown would eventually lose the title to featherweight king Jose Aldo. He ended up 2-3 with the UFC before retiring to focus on coaching. The 44-year-old has been the head trainer at ATT, managing some of the top fighters out there.
He will not be joining Masvidal, who replaced Gilbert Burns as the headliner after the latter tested positive for the coronavirus. Passing his test, Masvidal recently landed on “Fight Island”, and was upset to hear his coach will not be in his corner. He will still have four men by his side on fight night.
“It sucked emotionally just because I want him there when I get that belt,” Masvidal told ESPN, via MMA Fighting. “I needed this individual to be there because he’s a huge part of my career. He’s been there for such a long time. We’ve been friends for such a long time as well. It took the air from all of us.
“Every single one of me and my cornermen were devastated by it. Thank god, Mike doesn’t have any symptoms, nothing, any cold symptoms or sore throat or nothing. So he’s great right now.”
Masvidal (35-13) last fought at UFC 244 in November, beating Nate Diaz via TKO for the BMF Title. He is currently on a three-fight win streak and is 6-2 in his last eight fights.
UFC 251 will be on “Fight Island” on July 11. The co-main event will be 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.