Reported first by Combate, longtime coach of welterweight title contender Jorge Masvidal tested positive for COVID-19. The former fighter and American Top Team coach was not the only person from the elite MMA gym to test positive. Bantamweight Pedro Munhoz also tested positive and subsequently will be unable to compete against Frankie Edgar at UFC 251. Mike Brown will be unable to corner Jorge Masvidal in his welterweight title fight against Kamaru Usman.
This is also heartbreaking for Jorge Masivdal who already has the odds stacked against him. Masvidal is fighting “The Nigerian Nightmare” on 6 days notice, on “Fight Island” for the welterweight strap. To not have a longtime coach, mentor and friend in the corner for the biggest fight of one’s life is significant.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani spoke with Coach Brown soon after the positive test. Brown said “Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person. Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody pas paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I’ve ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey. The truth is this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed on of the highest fight IQs the sport has ever seen As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart.”
Really touching words from the longtime coach. It is easy to understand my fighters speak so highly of Brown. We wish him a swift recovery.