Streaking contender Gilbert Burns will no longer be challenging Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title at next weekend’s UFC 251 event.
Burns (18-3 MMA) was set to challenge his former training partner in Usman (16-1 MMA) in the headliner of next weekend’s pay-per-view event on Fight Island.
However, according to a report from MMAJunkie, Gilbert Burns has tested positive for Covid-19 and thus will no longer be able to compete at UFC 251.
“Burns traveled from Florida, where he trained for UFC 251, to Las Vegas. The promotion is using the city as a hub to send athletes overseas to Abu Dhabi, testing them for COVID-19 before flying out to the Middle East. Burns’ test result came back positive, as well as his brother and cornerman, Herbert Burns, and coach Greg Jones. All three men did not board the charter fight leaving Las Vegas.” – per Mike Bohn’s report.
Gilbert Burns received a title shot following his impressive win over Tyron Woodley this past May. That victory had extended this Brazilians current win streak to six in a row, which included four straight in the welterweight division.
The UFC was originally working on a bout between Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman, however that fight never came to fruition due to failed negotiations between ‘Gamebred‘ and the promotion.
As of this time there is no word on if a short-notice replacement for Gilbert Burns will be sought after by Dana White and UFC officials.
UFC 251 was set to feature a total of three title fights, as Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski 2 and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo are also slated for the event.
Who would you like to see replace Gilbert Burns against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, if the promotion attempts to keep ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ on the fight card? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on July 3, 2020