Jorge Masvidal will not have his head coach Mike Brown in his corner when he takes on Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 this Saturday night.
On Monday, news surfaced that Brown had tested positive for COVID-19, which prevented him from flying to Abu Dhabi to corner Masvidal in his fight with Usman. Considering this fight marks Masvidal’s first crack at UFC welterweight gold, that’s a real blow. Masvidal is understandably distraught.
“It sucked emotionally just because I want him there when I get that belt,” Masvidal told ESPN when asked about Brown’s positive test (via MMA Fighting). “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.”
While Masvidal is clearly disappointment by this twist of fate, it has not distracted him from his goal.
“I’m going to baptize his ass,” Masvidal said of Usman. “That’s for a fact. That’s what you can bet on. That’s the secret sauce right there. I’m going to baptize him.
“I’m going to do it in violent fashion and I’m going to separate myself from the pack even more than I have in the past.”
Mike Brown has also commented on this unfortunate situation.
“Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person,” Brown told ESPN. “Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I’ve ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey.
“The truth is this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed one of the highest fight IQs the sport has ever seen. As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart”.
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