Kamaru Usman will defend his UFC welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 251 next Saturday night.
Usman was due to face fight Gilbert Burns at the first ever Fight Island main event in Abu Dhabi, but the Brazilian tested positive for coronavirus and was subsequently removed.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, UFC president Dana White has successfully crafted an agreement to make one of the biggest fights possible a reality on just one week’s notice.
Masvidal – victorious over Nate Diaz in October to take the symbolic BMF belt – had initially turned down the chance to face Usman.
But talks with White after Burns’ withdrawal convinced him to step in and take his shot at Usman on July 11.
The fighters are travelling to Las Vegas on a charter plane and will have to pass coronavirus tests in the United States and when they arrive in Abu Dhabi before the bout gets the go-ahead.
They will also have to pass a third test for COVID-19 after the scheduled weigh-ins on Friday.
If all of those barriers are overcome, Masvidal will get his shot at the UFC welterweight title for the first time.
It marks a major U-turn for the 35-year-old, who had threatened to walk out on the UFC after accusing them of underpaying him and other fighters.
Last month, he said on Instagram Live: “It’s about how much I’m going to receive from the pay-per-view. How much of a share I want from the pay-per-view.
“That’s one of the main things that I’m fighting about. I don’t feel that cut is fair and I don’t agree with it.
“I love to fight and I always get told don’t say that. Because you know why?
“They expect me to do it cheap or damn near free. I love to compete in the sport that I do. But I’ve been doing it for a long time.