The uphill battle for Jorge Masvidal continues.
After stepping in to fight Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight championship on less than a week's notice and having to shed 20 pounds within that timeframe, Masvidal was dealt another blow when his coach, Mike Brown, tested positive for COVID-19. Brown will be unable to corner Masvidal when he gets his first crack at UFC gold Saturday.
Brown's positive test came back Monday in Las Vegas after prefight screenings ahead of travel to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, where UFC 251 will be staged at "Fight Island." The former WEC champion and longtime American Top Team coach was notified of his positive test, which made him unable to travel with Masvidal.
Brown's fellow ATT coach Gabriel de Oliveira also tested positive and had to be held in Vegas. ATT bantamweight Pedro Munhoz was slated to face Frankie Edgar on July 15 but was pulled when he also returned a positive coronavirus test.
News of Brown's positive test was first reported by Combate.
American Top Team is stationed in Florida, where COVID-19 cases have been surging in recent weeks. Gilbert Burns, Usman's original opponent for UFC 251, tested positive for the coronavirus and was replaced by Masvidal. Burns, too, resides in Florida.
Between the short notice, the weight cut to 170 pounds and now not having one of his lead coaches in his corner, the 35-year-old Masvidal will have a lot to overcome as he steps into the Octagon against his rival.