Masvidal will be challenging UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, this Saturday night (July 11). The title bout is scheduled to headline UFC 251. “Gamebred” and “The Nigerian Nightmare” are set to collide on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. This will be the first event on the UFC’s “Fight Island” trip.
Jorge Masvidal Speaks On Mike Brown’s Positive COVID-19 Test
One noticeable absence in Masvidal’s corner will be American Top Team head coach Mike Brown. The former WEC champion tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to make the trip. Masvidal appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter and reacted to Brown’s positive test but he also had some encouraging news (h/t MMAFighting).
“It sucked emotionally just because I want him there when I get that belt,” Masvidal told ESPN when asked about Brown’s absence from his corner. “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.”
The ATT gym appears to have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Another coach, Gabriel Oliveira, also tested positive and he actually did have symptoms such as a high fever. Bantamweight Pedro Munhoz, who trains at ATT, had to be pulled from his scheduled July 15 bout with Frankie Edgar due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Masvidal is receiving a title shot because of Gilbert Burns‘ positive coronavirus test result. Burns took the title opportunity after Masvidal and the UFC couldn’t come to terms. Obviously, things changed and now “Gamebred” is getting the welterweight championship match that many have expected him to receive for months.