Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC 260 title defence off after COVID-19 positive

Australia’s only current UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight title defence against Brian Ortega has been called off after the Australia tested positive for COVID-19.

The even was meant to be the co-main event at UFC 260 but Volkanovski revealed he’d received a positive test.

Watch Live UFC with ESPN on Kayo. Full Fight Night Events, PPV Prelims & More. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

The news was confirmed during the UFC Fight Night on Sunday with the UFC still to announce another date for the rescheduled fight.

It’s another reminder that while vaccines are being distributed across the world that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.

Volkanovski took to Instagram to post a statement to share his devastation that the fight was called off.

Volkanovski wrote on social media: “So devastated to share that I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and my fight is off and will be rescheduled.

“I tested negative leaving Australia, negative before entering the UFC bubble but my latest test was positive.”

“We have worked so hard getting ready for this fight and I’m absolutely gutted this has happened.

“We followed every policy and process to remain covid free but it wasn’t meant to be this time.

“Thanks to everyone here in the States for your support since arriving and to everyone back home and around the world for your positive messages.

“To my fans, I’m certain I’ll be bouncing back stronger than ever before.”

It’s a brutal blow for the Aussie champ.Source:AFP

Volkanovski won the featherweight world title with a unanimous decision at UFC 245 against Max Holloway before defending the title in a controversial split decision at UFC 251.

Ortega also posted a video to social media

“I know you would have taken the fight no matter what, even with COVID,” Ortega said. “That’s the kind of human you are, and I respect that. Hope you get better, hope you heal up fast and we’ll postpone it and reschedule it for when we’ve got to. Stay sharp and whenever this s*** is meant to happen it’ll happen.”

Brian Ortega posted a message to Alexander Volkanovski after the postponement of their featherweight title fight.

(via @BrianTcity) pic.twitter.com/xv5XSMRpeJ

Fans were quick to react to the news.

Sucks that Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega is off of next weekend's UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols. The issue is on the UFC featherweight champion's side. So many fights have been disrupted but the UFC train rolls on.

Volkanovski vs Ortega was my most anticipated fight of the year.

Typical. #UFCVegas22

Nooooooo. UFC announces Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega is off UFC 260 next weekend due to Covid protocol. DAMN. IT.

Idea:

Use the open April 3 date for all the CKB/NZ postponements at APEX.
A four-fight card on ESPN+

Volkanovski (c) vs Ortega
Gillespie vs Riddell
*Worthy vs Mullarkey*
*Young vs Morales*

(*still on)

The UFC schedule has been tough for overseas fighters with those from Australia and New Zealand needing to quarantine for two weeks on return.

Volkanovski told news.com.au that he was feeling fit and strong for his second title defence.Source:News Corp Australia

Volkanovski spoke to news.com.au before UFC 260 on how difficult it would be to be apart from his wife and two young daughters during the fight camp and quarantine, which was a four week commitment.

“It is hard, it’s definitely hard but at the same time, this is how it is,” he said. “These are the card the world has been dealt at the moment. Anyone who knows me knows, I always talk about adapting to what’s in front of you. There’s no point in dwelling or sooking about it. It’s not what I can’t do and be there helping, it’s what can I do. I can go over there and win the title and make some good money. But we’ve also got FaceTime so we can see each other and II can be as present as I can be.

“It’s about adapting and accepting the situation and making it work.”

Not even being able to get in the octagon makes the blow even more brutal.

Source: Read Full Article