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Bruce Buffer to miss first numbered UFC event in 25 years due to COVID-19

UFC announcer Bruce Buffer will not be making the trip to Abu Dhabi for UFC 267.

UFC 266: Pearce v Morales Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

A UFC stalwart will not be doing his usual work inside the cage in Abu Dhabi, for the first time on a big event in a very long time.

Bruce Buffer, the promotion’s iconic ring announcer, has apparently contracted COVID-19 and will not be making the overseas trip for UFC 267. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news at the pre-fight press conference today (via TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter):

According to MMA Junkie, Buffer will be replaced by veteran announcer and the former voice of the WEC, Joe Martinez.

The last time Buffer was not the ring announcer for a numbered event was waaay back at UFC 11 in 1996. Mark Coleman won an eight-man tournament that night despite not even having to compete in the finals due to his opponent bowing out. Buffer has worked an incredible 255 numbered events in a row since then.

UFC 267 goes down this weekend with two title fights on top, a light heavyweight scrap between champion Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, along with an interim bantamweight championship matchup between former belt-holder Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen.