UFC welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal has been training recently, so he should be in shape in case he fights Kamaru Usman on short notice at UFC 251.
Usman was set to fight Gilbert Burns at UFC 251, which takes place in just six days from now at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, but late on Friday night it was revealed that Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and he had to be removed from the card. That left Usman without an opponent and put the wheels into motion for Masvidal to jump in on short notice and take on Usman next weekend at Fight Island.
Of course, Masvidal was supposed to be the one fighting for the belt in the first place after he finished Nate Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till in an epic 2019 season. However, Masvidal decided to instead hold out for more money and more respect, and the UFC decided that Burns — fresh off a win over Tyron Woodley — would get the title shot against Usman instead.
Of course, MMA is such a crazy sport and in uncertain times like this with the global coronavirus pandemic looming, anything can happen. The worst-case scenario unfolded when Burns had to withdraw from the card, leaving Usman without an opponent and the main event of UFC 251 up in the air. Fortunately, it looks like Masvidal might save the card.
Late Saturday night, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that Masvidal and the UFC are close on figuring out a contract for him to fight Usman on short notice. If that’s the case, then Masvidal won’t be going into the bout out of shape. According to MMAFighting.com’s Damon Martin, Masvidal has been actively training just in case a short-notice opportunity came up, so he should be in shape to fight Usman if the fight does indeed happen.
If Jorge Masvidal ends up fighting Kamaru Usman, he definitely has been training recently.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 5, 2020
If Jorge Masvidal ends up fighting Kamaru Usman, he definitely has been training recently. His head coach @mikebrownmma told me last week he had been working with wrestlers like @NoBickal and helping @DustinPoirier get ready for his fight with Dan Hooker. #UFC251
Training with the likes of standout wrestler Bo Nickal and UFC lightweight superstar Dustin Poirier should help Masvidal be prepared just in case he steps in on short notice against Usman, which it looks like he will be. Although he may not have put in a full training camp for this fight, at least he’ll be in shape and ready to go if the UFC can pull off the deal and get the Usman fight signed on super short notice.
Do you think Jorge Masvidal will fight Kamaru Usman at UFC 251?