ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported talks between Masvidal and the UFC began. Helwani noted that the camps of Usman and Masvidal were hopeful that a deal could be reached. Usman was scheduled for the UFC 251 card but hasn’t boarded a charter flight from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi.
Gilbert Burns was initially set to challenge Usman for the UFC welterweight championship on July 11. Those plans went awry when Burns tested positive for COVID-19. MMAJunkie reported the news and noted that the promotion was looking to reschedule the bout. Things appear to have changed rather quickly.
Masvidal and the UFC had been at odds over pay. It ultimately led to the UFC switching to Burns for the next welterweight title shot before his positive COVID-19 test. “Gamebred” claimed that the promotion was only willing to offer him half of what he made fighting Nate Diaz back in Nov. 2019. If Usman vs. Masvidal comes to fruition on Saturday night, it’s safe to say “Gamebred” cashed out.
There are still many hurdles that need to be cleared to make Usman vs. Masvidal a reality at UFC 251. Even if a deal is finalized, Masvidal will have to pass at least three COVID-19 tests before fight night.
Our Cole Shelton, broke the news that Masvidal is en route to Las Vegas to board the charter flight to Abu Dhabi.
“Confirmed with sources, Masvidal en route to Las Vegas right now. Everything is agreed to, one source said as long as COVID-19 test comes back negative for Masvidal “we got a main event” #UFC251 #UFCFightIsland.”
MMA News will keep you up to speed on the latest updates on the UFC 251 card as they become available. We’ll let you know if even more changes are made to the event.