Inaugural BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal has reacted to the news Brazilian submission specialist Gilbert Burns has been forced out of his UFC 251 fight against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Burns was expected to face ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ on ‘Fight Island’ next weekend, July 11. Unfortunately, ‘Durinho’ and two of his team tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before they were due to fly out the island for fight night. Therefore, he has been pulled from UFC 251 leaving Usman without an opponent.

Masvidal took to Twitter after hearing the news, posting the following message suggesting he is game to fight at UFC 251.

‘Gamebred’ is the number one contender at welterweight and was in discussions to fight Usman for many months before things turned sour. Masvidal claims the UFC wanted him to take a 50 percent pay cut for the biggest fight of his life. Since then he has been involved in a bitter, public spat with the promotion who he accuses of trying to strongarm him into the fight.

“I already explained why I signed a new deal. It’s either take it or leave it and not get paid. I would’ve signed another deal if it was done in good faith. He called me night before he wants to announce and tell me take or it leave it. That’s not negotiating that’s strong arming”

Masvidal has since pointed out the various other top UFC stars who are prepared to walk away from the sport. He has called his ongoing pay dispute the fight of his life and something he will not back down from, he wrote.

“Why are all the major names having issues? Conor, Jones, cejudo. We have to take it or retire. I love fighting and this is the fight of our lives.”

Masvidal joins Colby Covington in seemingly offering his services for UFC 251. As of right now, it remains unclear if the promotion will attempt to find Usman an alternative opponent or if his fight with Burns will take place at a later date.

Do you think Jorge Masvidal will fill in for Gilbert Burns at UFC 251?

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.