Jorge Masvidal will be down one of his key coaches when he faces Kamaru Usman for the Welterweight title this weekend (Sat., July 11, 2020) at UFC 251 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, as Mike Brown has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t make the trip to “Fight Island.”
The former “Coach of the Year” most recently cornered Dustin Poirier at UFC on ESPN 12 against Dan Hooker in what proved to be the leading “Fight of the Year” contender. That fight took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, though Brown has returned to Florida since then.
Brown issued a statement to ESPN expressing his disappointment and heartbreak as a result of having to miss out on Masvidal’s big fight.
“Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person. Nobody deserves it more than this guy, nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I’ve ever met,” he said.
“He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of his journey. The truth is, this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed one of the highest fight IQ;s the sport has ever seen. As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain is in my heart.”
The positive result is just the latest that has plagued “Fight Island,” as Gilbert Burns was forced out of his scheduled title fight against Usman after he also produced a positive coronavirus result. In addition, Pedro Munhoz — who spends his time training at American Top Team (ATT) where Brown does his coaching — was forced to bow out of his fight against Frankie Edgar after testing positive, too.
Per the report, fellow ATT coach, Gabriel Oliveira, also tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Las Vegas. The four aforementioned men all live in Florida, one of the four current hot spots in America with the highest surge in coronavirus cases (Arizona, California and Texas being the others).
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 251 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the ESPN portion at 8 p.m. before the PPV main card start time on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 251: “Usman vs. Masvidal” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.