Gilbert Burns will reportedly not participate in UFC 251 on the fighting island in Abu Dhabi next Saturday. The Brazilian has been tested positive for the coronavirus.
33-year-old Burns would face Nigerian Kamaru Usman in welterweight. Reportedly, UFC boss Dana White is looking for a replacement for Burns, who co-starred with the event as Usman.
There is also a chance that the fight will be moved to a later time. In that case, the fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway in the featherweight is likely to become the event's new headliner.
"This is terrible news. I'm not feeling well, but I'm going to win this battle! Stay safe and lots of love," Burns wrote on Twitter. His coach Greg Jones also has the COVID-19 virus among the members, according to various media.
UFC 251 first fight night in series
Burns has been training in Florida lately and recently traveled to Las Vegas where the fighters are being tested for the last time before flying to Abu Dhabi. Logically, his positive test left him in the United States.
UFC 251 is the first in a series of events to be held in July on private Yas Island. All the while, the fighters, coaches and personnel will remain in a safety zone of more than 16 square kilometers to prevent contamination with the COVID-19 virus.
On the island are an arena, hotel, training facilities and dining options. Fighting is also planned for July 15, 18 and 25. There is no public welcome in Abu Dhabi.
💔 devastating news, not feeling well but I'm going to win this battle! Stay safe out there! Much love 🙏🏾Avatar