Brian Ortega has been waiting a while to get his second shot at the UFC Featherweight World Championship and now he’ll have to wait a little bit longer after the reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski has tested positive for Coronavirus. This isn’t the first time that the pandemic has had an effect on one of Ortega’s fights either as a positive test from Rener Gracie on the way to his last fight against Chan Sung Jung meant that he had to compete without his BJJ coach in his corner. Of course, that didn’t seem to effect his performance much as Ortega put on a fantastic display to earn a Unanimous Decision win over the Korean Zombie.
This was Ortega’s only fight since the last time he made an attempt at UFC gold, when the cageside doctors called an end to his fight against Max Holloway after four rounds of brutal striking dominance by the champion. In that same space of time, Volkanovski dominated two Featherweight legends in Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo before taking the title off Max Holloway and defending it successfully in their rematch. With an incredible 22-1 professional record, Volkanovski was the favorite coming into the pair’s Co-main event match at UFC 260 and is just as disappointed at the match falling through as Ortega will no doubt be. He announced the news of the fight’s cancellation on his official Twitter account:
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) March 21, 2021
The fight has not yet been rebooked, as the UFC will have to wait to see how Volkanovski fares after the infection. Some fighters have recovered quickly with no symptoms and others have suffered lingering effects that have hampered their ability to compete for some time. Due to the short-notice nature of the bout cancellation, it appears as though the event will go ahead exactly as planned with just one fight less than the original running order. Brian Ortega gave a statement of his own on his official Instagram account, where he gave a message of support to Alexander Volkanovski and stated his desire to have the fight rebooked as soon as he had recovered from Coronavirus.