Report: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal is Looking Likely For UFC 251
The fight hasn't been finalized yet, but it's being reported talks to add Jorge Masvidal to UFC 251, as a replacement for Gilbert Burns, are going well.
It looks like we could see Jorge Masvidal fight Kamaru Usman next after all. While the bout hasn’t been announced yet, and there’s still some hurdles to get over, it’s being reported that talks to have Masvidal step-in to face the welterweight champ at UFC 251 are moving along.
Talks to add Masvidal are going well
As you’ve likely heard, the man who was supposed to fight Usman, Gilbert Burns, has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the surging welterweight has been pulled from the July 11th event, which will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Then, in an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Helwani reported the following:
“Barring any last minute hiccups… people are very confident that, in exactly seven days from now, we’re going to be seeing one of the most anticipated fights of 2020.”
"Barring any last minute hiccups… people are very confident that, in exactly seven days from now, we're going to be seeing one of the most anticipated fights of 2020."@arielhelwani went on @SportsCenter to provide an update on @USMAN84kg and @GamebredFighter at #UFC251 pic.twitter.com/q1FFlXrzKU
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 5, 2020
We’ll see what happens
So, it’s going to be really interesting to see if this bout gets signed and we see the rivals throw hands next Saturday.
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The plan was to have Masvidal fight Usman next all along. But, ‘Gamebred’ wasn’t happy with the UFC’s offer. Masvidal then proceeded to blast the promotion regarding the situation, and how it compensates fighters. UFC President Dana White, meanwhile, pointed to the fact Masvidal had recently signed a contract extension.
So, the sides will need to come to an agreement on compensation, and obviously Masvidal will need to pass all his medical tests.
The 35-year-old has worked his way into title contention after an awe-inspiring, 2019 campaign, which saw him beat Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.
The champ Usman, meanwhile, is coming off a stoppage win over Colby Covington in December.
If Masvidal does head to Abu Dhabim and beats Usman with seven days notice, it will be one of the major stories of 2020, without question.