Gilbert Burns will still get his shot at the welterweight title next.
Burns was originally scheduled to face Kamaru Usman for the 170-pound title in the UFC 251 headliner taking place tomorrow in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
However, as we all know now, he tested positive for COVID-19 last week and had to withdraw from the fight as a result. Jorge Masvidal has since stepped in on six days notice to challenge Usman for the strap.
White: Burns Is No. 1
It was a big blow for Burns as a potential win over Usman would have represented one of the biggest rises in recent history, with him having defeated Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia earlier this year as well.
But that said, he will get his opportunity at the winner of the UFC 251 main event according to Dana White. After all, he is still the No. 1 contender.
“He’s the No. 1 contender. He’s the No. 1 ranked guy in the world,” White said during a media scrum on Friday. “Yeah – he’s the No. 1 guy in the world. The kid is hungry, he wants to fight. He wants to be a world champion, and he’s No. 1. That puts him in a pretty good spot.”
Of course, White has changed his mind multiple times in the past. But if this sticks, it will certainly serve as a major blow for Colby Covington and Leon Edwards who were both looking to get their rematches with Usman next.
Maybe they can fight each other in the meantime?