Jorge (Gamebred) Masvidal has stepped in on six days notice to fight welterweight champion Kamaru (The Nigerian Nightmare) Usman on Saturday at UFC 251.
Usman (16-1-0) was due to face Gilbert (Durinho) Burns, ranked No. 1 among 170-pound contenders, but the Brazilian tweeted Saturday he was sick. On Sunday, Burns sent out a social-media post saying he was quarantining at home with a “heavy headache.”
The UFC announced the fight on social media.
Masvidal (35-13-0) is ranked third among welterweight contenders. He has won his last three bouts, including a high-profile matchup with Nate Diaz last November, but had been in a public spat recently with the UFC over his pay.
Masvidal told ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner, that he had signed a new contract with the UFC in advance of agreeing to the fight.
“I didn’t get exactly what I wanted but I got very very close to it so I’m taking the fight,” he said.
UFC 251 is the first of several UFC cards on Fight Island – actually Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.