Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (12-3 UFC, 19-3 MMA) is out of the main event of UFC 251 “Fight Island” after testing positive for COVID-19. Burns was to fight welterweight champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (11-0 UFC, 16-1 MMA) for the welterweight championship belt. Durinho tweeted, “Devastating news, not feeling well but I’m going to win this battle! Stay safe out there! Much love.”
MMA Junkie first reported the fight cancellation. UFC has not found a replacement for the main event welterweight fight. Gilbert tested positive in Las Vegas, before he was to head out to “Fight Island” Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Both coach, Greg Jones, and brother, Herbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus. Burns was training in Florida for this upcoming card, which has notoriously negligent standards regarding COVID-19.
This is not even the worst MMA COVID-19 related news this week. Sadly, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap Kurmagomedov passed away yestederay from COVID-19 related complications.