After Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from his title bout with Kamaru Usman, negotiations for Jorge Masvidal stepping in on the UFC 251 main event started to take place. Masvidal, who was seen getting coronavirus testing done earlier in the day, would be stepping in on just seven days notice.
While the Usman vs Masvidal bout seemed highly unlikely at first, it seems to be all but finalized now.
“I am told as of right now, talks are on going,” Ariel Helwani reported on Sports Center. “I’m told those talks are moving in a positive direction.
“This morning it seemed like a long shot that this fight would happen. Now, it seems barring any last minute hiccups — and there are still a few more hurdles that they have to jump over — people are very confident that in exactly seven days from now, people are going to see one of the most anticipated fights of 2020. A fight that we didn’t think is going to happen, now it seems like maybe UFC’s most bitter feud is actually going to play out.”
Based on this report, the remaining “hurdles” doesn’t seem to be money issues.
What hurdles? Well, just because a fight gets signed in 2020 doesn’t mean it’s happening.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 5, 2020
They’ll have to fly to Vegas in the next day or so, take a COVID test, quarantine, pass the test, fly to Abu Dhabi, take another test upon landing, pass that test, another test Friday, too.
It will be interesting to see what dollar figure made the popular “BMF” title holder end his hold out with the UFC, and come in on very short notice. Dana White has been very opposed to giving these disgruntled stars a big (and deserved) pay bump, and Masvidal has previously asked for his release because of it. He previously demanded for more money, not just for him, but to get a proper revenue share for the entire UFC roster.