UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski has been forced out of his upcoming title fight against Brian Ortega at UFC 260 due to COVID protocols.
News of the cancellation was announced during the preliminary card of the UFC Vegas 22 broadcast. Volkanovski vs Ortega was set to feature as the first of two title fights next weekend at UFC 260.
Ortega will be pulled from the card entirely, with the UFC hoping to reschedule the title fight for another event.
The news comes after Brad Riddell’s fight with Gregor Gillespie was scrapped just hours before UFC Vegas 22. Riddell is Volkanovski’s striking coach, which begs the question if that had any part to play in the cancellation of Volkanovski vs. Ortega.
Volkanovski (22-1) was hoping to make the second defense of his featherweight title, whilst Ortega (15-1, 1NC) was looking to get his hands on UFC gold for the first time in his career.
UFC 260 takes place on March 27 at the promotion’s APEX facility. UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is set to defend his title against Francis Ngannou in the main event.