Masvidal steps in on short notice to fight Usman at UFC 251

Jorge (Gamebred) Masvidal has stepped in on six days notice to fight welterweight champion Kamaru (The Nigerian Nightmare) Usman on Saturday at UFC 251.

Usman (16-1-0) was due to face Gilbert (Durinho) Burns, ranked No. 1 among 170-pound contenders, but the Brazilian tweeted Saturday he was sick. On Sunday, Burns sent out a social-media post saying he was quarantining at home with a “heavy headache.”

The UFC announced the fight on social media.

Masvidal (35-13-0) is ranked third among welterweight contenders. He has won his last three bouts, including a high-profile matchup with Nate Diaz last November, but had been in a public spat recently with the UFC over his pay.

Masvidal told ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner, that he had signed a new contract with the UFC in advance of agreeing to the fight.

“I didn’t get exactly what I wanted but I got very very close to it so I’m taking the fight,” he said.

UFC 251 is the first of several UFC cards on Fight Island – actually Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

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