Masvidal has passed his coronavirus test, and he and Usman will leave Las Vegas for Abu Dhabi later Monday, sources said. Usman will be on a charter flight and Masvidal will fly in a private jet, sources said.
After arriving in Las Vegas on Sunday, the two fighters had to pass a coronavirus test and then be quarantined pending the results. If they had not passed the tests, the fight could not have continued.
The UFC worked to save Usman’s presence on the map after Gilbert Burns was forced to withdraw on Friday night.
For the past two months, the UFC and Masvidal have been far apart from each other for contract negotiations to carry out this fight. Ultimately, the UFC decided to move away from the negotiations about a month ago and gave the fight for Burns, who recently defeated former champion Tyron Woodley.
Subsequently, Masvidal published a series of tweets criticizing the UFC for its business practices, wondering if the relationship would be broken for a while. But once Burns was removed from the map late Friday evening, momentum began to build for the original plan, which was a grudge that lasted for months. Usman and Masvidal were involved in a heated feud that saw the duo enter a scream match at the Miami Super Bowl media line earlier this year.
Usman tweeted on Saturday afternoon, “It might be time for the pig to scream,” while the co-director of Masvidal posted a series of Instagram stories showing Masvidal on the phone with the caption “in negotiation.”
Of course, these days, it’s not as simple as accepting a fight. Masvidal underwent and passed an antibody test against coronaviruses on Saturday afternoon. This test shows whether a person has been exposed to the coronavirus in the past, but does not determine if someone currently has the virus. So at least one obstacle was crossed at that time. Fighters will have to take more coronavirus tests before the night of combat, like all fighters competing in Abu Dhabi this month.
Masvidal is considered one of the most popular fighters in the sport, many believing that he was the fighter of the year 2019 after winning impressive victories against Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz. In addition to the fight for the welterweight title, the card also includes Alexander Volkanovski against Max Holloway 2 for the featherweight title and Petr Yan against Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title.