Ringside news LIVE: UFC 251 build-up as Misvidal vs Usman CONFIRMED, Wilder wants Fury trilogy, Mike Tyson’s weight loss

UFC 251 takes place at Dana White's new-look Fight Island in the United Arab Emirates this weekend.

Jorge Masvidal has been confirmed as Kamaru Usman's opponent after Gilbert Burns was dramatically pulled from the event for testing positive for coronavirus.

As well as a packed MMA schedule over the next seven days, we've got the very latest on Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III and Mike Tyson's incredible potential return to the ring.

Follow all the latest fighting talk from the world of boxing and MMA below…

  • RAW: SLATER'S RETURN

    Heath Slater made a shock return to Raw last night to confront Drew McIntyre just three months after he was axed by WWE.

    The “One Man Band” was part of the huge number of cuts made by WWE chief Vince McMahon amid the coronavirus crisis back in April.

    Slater, real name Heath Miller, was let go just days after an emotional tribute to his long-time friend McIntyre following the Scot’s WWE Title triumph over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

    Now he is back in business on Monday Night Raw and back friends with the champ despite attacking him.

    McIntyre kicked off the show by calling out Dolph Ziggler and demanding he reveal the stipulation for their upcoming title match at Extreme Rules.

    The challenger came out but continued to keep McIntyre in the dark, and instead turned the conversation towards the belt holder’s lack of appreciation for how much the veteran helped him during their team as a tag team.

  • PEDRO KO

    UFC star Pedro Munhoz has been forced to pull out of his Fight Island clash with Frankie Edgar after reportedly testing positive for coronavirus.

    The 33-year-old Brazilian was due to headline UFC Fight Night 172 on July 15 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

    Now ESPN claims it is off after the veteran’s positive Covid-19 test.

    The result was picked up before both fighters began travelling from Las Vegas to the Middle East last night.

    And despite his devastation at losing out on the payday due to coronavirus, Munhoz is believed to be “feeling good”.

    It comes on the back of Gilbert Burns pulling out of his fight with Kamaru Usman and being replaced by Jorge Masvidal for UFC 251 this Saturday.

  • WHYTE LINES

    Dillian Whyte will NOT step aside to let Tyson Fury fight Anthony Joshua in a unification blockbuster.

    The Bodysnatcher is approaching 1,000 days as the WBC's mandatory challenger – but he has had to watch on as Fury beat Deontay Wilder to win the belt.

    Speaking to The Telegraph the 32-year-old Brixton banger, who has been calling out Fury for weeks, said: “Nah, there's to be no step-aside. I’ve waited long enough.

    “I’m not getting any younger, I’m getting older. I just want to be world champion and reign and unify.

    “So the sooner I can get the world title the sooner I can go about that. So, no I’m not looking to step aside at all.”

  • GOOD MORNING FIGHT FANS

    Jorge Masvidal called Kamaru Usman a “coward” ahead of the pair's title fight at UFC 251 and said: “I can't wait to “break his face.”

    He told ESPN's Ariel Helwani: “I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, then get paid for it.”

    And asked why he appears to dislike Usman so much, Masvidal didn't hold back.

    He said: “Have you not seen him speak, how he speaks about everybody?

    “Everything’s just negativity and downplaying people.

    “A wise man said this quote to me, and he broke it down in a much better way than I can break it down, but listen: [Some people say] ‘I’m going to dim your light to make mine brighter.’ No, I’m just going to make my light as bright as I can.

    “[Usman has] constantly been throwing disses at me for a while. I just don’t believe anything he says. I know the coward that he is.

    “I’ve known this guy for quite some time in South Florida.

    “He’s a guy who was coming up, asking for pictures [with me] four or five years ago. Now you’re this thug life guy? I don’t believe it, man.”

    Things are just as dramatic over in the world boxing, where Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are preparing for a THIRD dust-up.

    The pair are contracted for another bout, with reports suggesting the trilogy could be completed in December this year.

    Elsewhere, Iron Mike has revealed he's lost a whopping FIVE-STONE as talk of a comeback intensifies.

    A move over to the Octagon could be on the cards after Tyson talked up UFC legend Jon Jones as a potential rival.

    But the favourite appears to be Shannon Briggs after the 48-year-old discussed a £20m proposal to face Iron Mike in a “steel cage” match.

  • FIGHT NIGHT

    Kamaru Usman infamously claimed to not know who Jorge Masvidal was, despite having been sitting ringside for his unforgettable five-second KO of Ben Askren.

    And addressing the comments, Gambred was equally scathing.

    He told ESPN's Ariel Helwani:“Now you don’t know who I am? You’re fake as f***.

    “On our given date, I’m going to prove to the world just how not real you are.”

  • KAM ON THEN

    Jorge Masvidal called Kamaru Usman a “coward” ahead of the pair's title fight at UFC 251 and said: “I can't wait to “break his face.”

    He told ESPN's Ariel Helwani: “I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, then get paid for it.”

    And asked why he appears to dislike Usman so much, Masvidal didn't hold back.

    He said: “Have you not seen him speak, how he speaks about everybody?

    “Everything’s just negativity and downplaying people.

    “A wise man said this quote to me, and he broke it down in a much better way than I can break it down, but listen: [Some people say] ‘I’m going to dim your light to make mine brighter.’ No, I’m just going to make my light as bright as I can.

    “[Usman has] constantly been throwing disses at me for a while. I just don’t believe anything he says. I know the coward that he is.

    “I’ve known this guy for quite some time in South Florida.

    “He’s a guy who was coming up, asking for pictures [with me] four or five years ago. Now you’re this thug life guy? I don’t believe it, man.”

  • RAG DOLL

    Jorge Masvidal has taken the fight against Kamaru Usman on just a week's notice, after Gilbert Burns was dramatically pulled from the pay-per-view event after testing positive for Covid-19.

    Burns was only handed the fight after the UFC failed to agree terms with Masvidal initially, who threatened to walk out of the promotion following a pay row.

    Champion Usman, who did spend a large chuck of time preparing to face his opponent Saturday night, insists the sudden switch up will not stop him from “rag dolling” his rival as he promised to also win the BMF belt.

    He told TMZ Sports:“At the end of the day, when you’re in training camp, the way that I train, you see no face.

    “When I cross into that Octagon, I have to turn on the Nigerian nightmare and leave Kamaru Usman on the outside. And, so I see no face by the time I'm in there anyway.”

    “Now it's a little extra push to get in there and really do some damage.

    “After I go out there and beat his ass and ragdoll him, that s*** is coming home with me so I can throw it in my closet.”

  • WORTH THE WEIGHT

    Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman will headline UFC 251 at Fight Island – in what will be a fitting climax to their storied rivalry.

    Here's how they match up…

  • BELTER

    Jorge Masvidal hinted his 'Baddest Mother F***er' belt will not be on the line against Kamaru Usman – as he does not fit the billing.

    Masvidal, 35, won the unprecedented belt in November after beating Nate Diaz, also 35, in a battle of fan-favourites.

    He now prepares to challenge for welterweight gold on Saturday as he headlines UFC 251 on 'Fight Island' against champion Usman.

    Though Usman will be putting his title on the line, Masvidal vows not to return the favour, believing his opponent is not worthy of BMF status.

    He told ESPN: “You gotta be a BMF to put that title on the line.

    “I'm fighting dorkiest motherf***er. It doesn't go that way.”

  • WALK THE WALK

    Good afternoon fight fans, on what is the start of a potentially epic week in the UFC.

    Dana White's fabled Fight Island is finally set to be come a reality, with his fighters preparing to jet out to Abu Dhabi and the majestic Yas Island.

    One of the emirate’s most popular leisure, shopping and entertainment destinations, it has been transformed into an epic Octagon venue for UFC 251 on Saturday night.

    The show had been thrown into chaos when Gilbert Burns – due to headline the card against Kamaru Usman – tested positive for Covid-19.

    But enter Jorge Masvidal, taking on the fight at six days notice for a shot at the welterweight crown.

    It's set to be an momentous night of action, with Masvidal performing a major U-turn after nearly walking away from the sport last month due to a pay dispute.

    Things are just as dramatic over in the world boxing, where Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are preparing for a THIRD dust-up.

    The pair are contracted for another bout, with reports suggesting the trilogy could be completed in December this year.

    Elsewhere, Iron Mike has been ruffling feathers – and we're not talking about his love of pigeons.

    The former heavyweight champ has revealed he's lost a whopping FIVE-STONE as talk of a comeback intensifies.

    A move over to the Octagon could be on the cards after Tyson talked up UFC legend Jon Jones as a potential rival.

    But the favourite appears to be Shannon Briggs after the 48-year-old discussed a £20m proposal to face Iron Mike in a “steel cage” match.

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