Gilbert Burns was imagined to problem Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship at UFC 251 on Saturday. Now, he’ll be rooting for his former teammate as a substitute.

Burns (19-3) confirmed to ESPN on Monday that he was faraway from his 170-pound title combat towards Usman after testing optimistic for COVID-19 on Friday. Burns stated he was examined in his house state of Florida on June 29 and outcomes got here again damaging. He flew to Las Vegas on Thursday and was scheduled to fly to “Combat Island” in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on Friday however was knowledgeable of his optimistic take a look at that morning.

The UFC has changed Burns with Jorge Masvidal (35-13) within the UFC 251 essential occasion. Burns, who skilled with Usman from 2012 to 2020, stated he’s hopeful Usman will win.

“Initially, I type of just like the man,” Burns informed ESPN. “And if Masvidal wins, the [welterweight division] goes to get loopy. It may be a circus in that division. He will combat Conor [McGregor] or Nate Diaz. I do not assume the division goes to run appropriately — the No. 1 and No. 2 man preventing for the title. He will make it a multitude, in order that’s one more reason I need Kamaru to win.”

Burns, 33, stated the one symptom he has felt all week is a constant headache. Two of Burns’ coaches additionally examined optimistic for COVID-19. His youthful brother, 32-year-old UFC light-weight Herbert Burns, examined damaging, regardless of touring to Las Vegas with the opposite three.

Gilbert Burns trains out of Sanford Blended Martial Arts in South Florida. The health club is affiliated with Sanford Well being, a well being system primarily based out of South Dakota, nevertheless it has been hit arduous by the coronavirus outbreak.

“I simply assume it is a Florida factor,” stated Burns, who has fought twice in 2020. “We’re not protected anymore.”

In accordance with Burns, he and his crew drove to Florida from Las Vegas in a automobile supplied by the UFC. He stated he at the moment is feeling “good” and is along with his household. He intends to quarantine till he produces a damaging take a look at.