Can Jorge Masvidal pull off the short notice replacement fight of this generation?

According to ESPN reporters Brett Okamato and Ariel Helwani, UFC president Dana White has successfully replaced Gilbert Burns, who pulled out with a positive case of COVID-19, with “GameBred,” (35-13-0) who was the original choice to fight welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1-0) at UFC 251 July 11.

 

The UFC has not yet officially confirmed the replacement other than a twitter post, but MMA Junkie in addition to ESPN, have reported the change.

Both fighters need to quarantine for 24 hours in Las Vegas and pass COVID-19 tests in order to make the scheduled Monday plane leaving Las Vegas for Abu Dhabi.

Masvidal’s last fight was winning the BMF title with a decision win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in November 2019. The 33-year-old is taking this fight in less than a week’s notice.

Usman, 35, has been dominant in 11 fights in the octagon and defended the belt in his last contest against Colby Covington at UFC 245 last December.

UFC 251 is scheduled for July 11 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The current card is:

DAVEY GRANT (11-4-0) VS. MARTIN DAY (8-3-0)

KAROL ROSA (12-3-0) VS. VANESSA MELO (10-7-0)

RAULIAN PAIVA (19-3-0) VS. ZHALGAS ZUMAGULOV (13-3-0)

LEONARDO SANTOS (19-3-0) VS. ROMAN BOGATOV (10-0-0)

MAKWAN AMIRKHANI (15-4-0) VS. DANNY HENRY (12-3-0)

ELIZEU ZALESKI DOS SANTOS (22-6-0) VS. MUSLIM SALIKHOV (16-2-0)

VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (17-4-0) VS. JIRI PROCHAZKA (26-3-1)

AMANDA RIBAS (9-3-0) DEF. PAIGE VANZANT (8-4-0)

JESSICA ANDRADE (20-7-0) VS. ROSE NAMAJUNAS (8-4-0)

PETR YAN (14-1-0)  DEF. JOSE ALDO (28-6-0)

ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI (21-1-0) VS. MAX HOLLOWAY (21-5-0)

KAMARU USMAN (16-1-0) VS. JORGE MASVIDAL (35-13-0)

@kenaiandrews

UFC 251: Jorge Masvidal replaces Gilbert Burns against Kamaru Usman