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Alexander Volkanovski out of UFC 260 due to COVID-19 protocols, fight against Brian Ortega to be rescheduled

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The featherweight title fight between reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega has been pulled from UFC 260 on March 27.

The announcement was made during the UFC Vegas 22 broadcast on Saturday night.

Volkanovski was pulled from the card due to COVID-19 protocols, which meant the entire bout had to be scrapped with plans to reschedule the matchup for a later date. The featherweight champion later confirmed that he tested positive for the virus after twice testing negative.

One of Volkanovski’s teammates and training partners Brad Riddell was also pulled from UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday due to the same COVID-19 protocols, though it’s unknown if the two situations are related.

The fight was supposed to serve as Volkanovski’s second title defense after he defeated Max Holloway to claim the featherweight championship and then beat the Hawaiian a second time in an immediate rematch.

As for Ortega, he earned the title shot in a lopsided win over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung but now it appears he’ll have to wait a little while longer before getting the opportunity to become a UFC champion.

The UFC has not announced when the fight will be rescheduled.

UFC 260 will move forward with the same main event as heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic takes on Francis Ngannou in a five-round battle from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.