One of many largest proposed fights for UFC Combat Island is formally OFF after Gilbert Burns revealed he has contracted COVID-19.
The 33-year-old was scheduled to face Kamaru Usman for the welterweight world title on July 11, however has examined optimistic for coronavirus and has withdrawn from the bout.
Given how a lot effort and time has gone into securing a genuinely prime class struggle on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Dana White is now scrambling to discover a substitute.
Burns, his coach Greg Jones and brother Herbert all examined optimistic for the sickness and as such the challenger was compelled to withdraw.
The primary contender is from the identical fitness center as Usman, however the champion determined to relocate to Colorado and left his opponent in Florida. Burns travelled to Las Vegas to endure remaining assessments earlier than flying out to the Center East from one of many UFC’s ‘hubs’.
It exposes an enormous flaw within the firm’s system, which deliberate check and isolate athletes nicely prematurely of the occasion, thus enabling them get well in time to fly out to the 10-square mile bubble on Yas Island earlier than competing.
The collapse of the principle occasion means White has lower than every week to switch Burns within the title struggle. Failure to seek out an appropriate 170lbs contender would imply Alexander Volkanovski’s rematch with Max Holloway will likely be promoted to predominant occasion.
BMF champion Jorge Masvidal is a doable substitute to save lots of the day, with many followers begging ‘Gamebred’ to step up at brief discover, however a lot will rely on whether or not he can resolve his on-going dispute over pay with the UFC.
Burns shared his devastation at lacking out on the enduring occasion, tweeting that he’s ‘not feeling nicely’.
The UFC have shared movies of the unimaginable technical logistics and planning for Combat Island, their COVID-19 contingency plan, with 400,000 man hours already put into constructing the complicated for 4 occasions in July.