JORGE MASVIDAL fighting Kamaru Usman on just a week’s notice appears a done deal after the UFC completed dramatic talks with the pair.
The UFC’s first show on ‘Fight Island’ – held in Abu Dhabi – looked to have descended into chaos after headliner Gilbert Burns tested positive for Covid-19 and was ruled out.
Burns was only given the fight at UFC 251 after Masvidal initially failed to agree terms to challenge for the welterweight title after a pay row.
But according to ESPN, following last-gasp negotiations the 35-year-old looks to have agreed a deal with the UFC to fill in on seven days’ notice and finally settle the score with Usman.
Reporter Ariel Helwani tweeted: “Negotiations for Usman vs Masvidal are done, per sources.”
Despite the bout agreement between the pair being reached the fight rests on the rivals passing coronavirus tests.
The duo will have to be tested in Las Vegas, quarantine in a hotel for 24 hours until their results are in and if they pass they will travel to Fight Island.
Masvidal is said to have already completed his first test after taking a private jet to Sin City.
Usman will then follow and should they both come back negative, they will both fly to Abu Dhabi.
There they will again be tested and quarantined and if they are cleared they will then be free to start training again and prepare for their weight cut.
It marks a major U-turn for Masvidal, who threatened to walk out on the UFC after accusing them of underpaying him and other fighters.
The welterweight claimed the money he was offered to challenge Usman was only half of what he pocketed when beating Nate Diaz for the ‘BMF’ belt in November.
The UFC then matched that purse but still Masvidal felt he should have received more to challenge for the actual title, while also wanting a bigger slice of the PPV revenue.
Might be time for the Pig to squeal 😏😏
Despite the public fall out, the American was captured taking a coronavirus test, an indication he is preparing to face Usman on Fight Island.
Masvidal and Usman were set to headline the UFC’s annual International Fight Week this month, until the pandemic cancelled the showpiece event.
They have clashed on numerous occasions, including a face-to-face confrontation at the Super Bowl media day in Miami at the start of the year.