Kamaru Usman will get a new challenger for his UFC welterweight belt after Gilbert Burns was forced to withdraw from the fight. UFC announced on Monday that veteran Jorge Masvidal will step in and face Usman at UFC 251.
The title fight against Usman and Masvidal is scheduled for July 12th in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
UFC has been trying to get the two fighters in the ring for some time now but had issues with convincing Masvidal to ink a new deal. After months of negotiations, the organization pulled out of the talks and ended up getting Burns for the title fight against Usman.
However, Burns tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, jeopardizing the biggest fight on UFC 251. So, UFC turned to Masvidal once again and managed to get the job done over the weekend while signing the 35-year-old to a new multi-year deal.
Kamaru Usman has a 16-1 record in MMA but hasn’t lost his last 15 fights. He won the UFC Welterweight Title in 2019 against Tyron Woodley, and successfully defended it against Colby Covington at UFC 245.
Jorge Masvidal has 35 wins and 13 losses since making his MMA debut in 2003. He is on a three-fight winning streak, suffering his last loss against Stephen Thompson in 2017. Fight against Usman will be Masvidal’s first title fight.