- Alex Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega will not be at UFC 260 next weekend.
- Volkanovsky tested positive for COVID-19 in his latest UFC bubble test.
- The champion was a slight favorite at -175 to beat Ortega.
The UFC featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovsky and Brian Ortega at UFC 260 has been canceled. According to the UFC during the UFC Fight Night broadcast on Saturday, the reason for the postponement was "COVID-19 protocols."
Just announced on the air, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 protocols, Alexander Volkanovski's match against Brian Ortega has been postponed and will not take place at UFC 260.# UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/AMfX9XC4bb
- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 21, 2021
On the top UFC betting sites, Volkanovski has been a weak favorite to win over Ortega. According to the latest Bovada odds table, the champion's odds per favorite were -175 and the challenger's odds were +145. But the odds and the fans will have to wait as the fight was postponed one week before the event.
Test positive for COVID-19
Alexander Volkanovsky released a statement saying he tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the postponement of his fight with Brian Ortega.
(via @alexvolkanovski) pic.twitter.com/9x3ncmVeBm
- ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 21, 2021
A few hours after the announcement, Volkanovsky went to social media to report that the reason for canceling the fight was that he tested positive for COVID-19. According to the champion, he was negative when he left Australia and was also negative before he got into the UFC bubble. He said he followed all the required protocols, but his last test came back positive.
Ortega, meanwhile, praised the champion and wished Volkanovsky a speedy recovery. However, it was obvious that he was disappointed too, as this fight was to be his ransom fight after being defeated by Max Holloway in his first attempt to win the world title.
Since this was a title fight, the UFC will postpone the event to a later date. Unlike other high-profile title fights, where the UFC had a backup fighter in case one of the fighters couldn't make it to a night fight, this one didn't, so Ortega's title aspirations will have to wait a little longer.
New and improved T-City
NEW AND IMPROVED. @BrianTCity time brought back version 2.0?
[#InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi] pic.twitter.com/5nyMcdwCKB
- UFC (@ufc) October 18, 2020
Brain Ortega took the UFC by storm after joining the promotion in 2014 as the former RFA featherweight champion. After his UFC debut was canceled out of competition due to a drug test failure, Ortega had six consecutive victories, all of which were stopped to earn a crack in the UFC belt. He faced Holloway at UFC 231 and lost by TKO in the 5th round.
After that, Ortega took a long break and used it wisely to get better in the areas he needed to improve. He returned to action last October against Korean zombies. With a new clean-shaven look and vastly improved flamboyant play, Ortega dominated Korean Zombie en route to a clear unanimous decision victory.
This victory propelled Ortega to the 2nd place in the UFC Featherweight Championship. With former featherweight champion Max Holloway as the best fighter in the division, the UFC decided to give Ortega another shot at Volkanovski instead of ordering a third fight with Holloway.
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