Alexander Volkanovski has spoken out for the first time since withdrawing from UFC 260.

The UFC featherweight champion was supposed to defend his 145lb strap against Brian Ortega on March 27.

During the UFC Vegas 22 broadcast play-by-play commentator, Brendan Fitzgerald, announced Volkanovski-Ortega had been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. The fight is set to be re-scheduled for a later date.

Volkanovski took to social media to confirm he has contracted COVID-19.

“So devastated to share that I’ve tested positive for Covid and my fight is off and will be rescheduled,” Volkanovski wrote. “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 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.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)

‘The Great’ was last seen in action when he made the first defence of his featherweight championship at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ in July 2020.

Volkanovski secured a close and controversial split-decision victory over former titleholder, Max Holloway in a co-main event rematch.

The victory for Volkanovski was his second over Holloway following his crowning outing at UFC 245 in December of 2019.

The 32-year-old also holds a knockout win over multiple-time title challenger, Chad Mendes and a unanimous decision win over for featherweight great Jose Aldo.

Ortega earned his second shot at UFC gold in impressive fashion.

‘T-City’ returned from a two-year sit to impressively outpoint ‘The Korean Zombie’ over five rounds in October 2020.

Are you disappointed to see Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega fall off UFC 260?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.