Jorge Masvidal has passed his pre-flight COVID-19 test on Sunday night, and his short notice title bout with Kamaru Usman has been made official for UFC 251. The promotion announced the new main event shortly after.
OFFICIAL.— UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020
The BMF steps in on six days notice for #UFC251 @VisitAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/eNq5CZMTTM
Due to money issues and COVID-19 protocols, the match up didn’t even seem realistic just less than two days ago, but it has now been made official.
Masvidal previously asked for a release and demanded the entire roster get a better cut of the UFC’s revenue, but his hold out is now over. His manager didn’t reveal any details, but says they’re “extremely happy” with the new deal they got from the promotion.
Both headliners have also passed their COVID-19 tests in Las Vegas, and will be flying on separate private flights to Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Like the rest of the card though, they still have a few more steps to go before actually stepping in the Octagon on Saturday. Once they arrive in Abu Dhabi, they’ll still have to take two more COVID-19 tests, cut and make weight by Friday, and then pass another COVID-19 test before the fights.
There’s obviously a lot that can still happen, but as of right now, that welterweight title bout is as official as it will get, and Masvidal will be looking to step into a main event title fight in less than a week’s notice.