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UFC 251 main event change: Gilbert Burns tests positive for COVID-19, ruled out of Fight Island

gilbert-burns-5302020-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

UFC 251 has lost its headliner fight after Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19.

His matchup with Kamaru Usman is now on hold, and Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway will take over as the solo main event.

Fight Island, which is located in Abu Dhabi, is the new host of UFC competitions during the coronavirus pandemic, with the idea being an isolated group of fighters could limit the spread of the sickness.

Competitors are training elsewhere, though, meaning marquee bouts will continue to be conditional on areas outside of Abu Dhabi remaining safe from COVID-19. Burns was working out in Florida before his diagnosis.

UFC 251 is scheduled for July 11. Volkanovski and Holloway believe they'll have no problem stepping up into the spotlight with Burns-Usman called off.

"This was the real main event," Volkanovski told ESPN. "A lot of people thought this was the main event, so it's in its rightful place."

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