Jorge Masvidal will be down one of his chief cornermen when he faces Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title at UFC 251 on Saturday.
American Top Team coach Mike Brown tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week, he told ESPN's Ariel Helwani. As a result, Brown is unable to travel to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to corner Masvidal.
Brown had already flown from South Florida, where his gym is located, to Las Vegas and was expected to depart for Yas Island on Monday, according to MMA Fighting's Steven Marrocco, Guilherme Cruz, and Damon Martin.
"Just heartbroken I'm not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person," Brown told Helwani. "Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I've ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey."
Brown said he feels "good" despite testing positive for coronavirus. He is a former WEC featherweight champion and UFC fighter who retired from competition in 2013. The 44-year-old is now considered one of the best coaches in MMA.
"The only pain I feel is in my heart," Brown said.
Masvidal, who stepped up on a week's notice to meet Usman in Saturday's main event, will be cornered by Paulino Hernandez, Jesus Gallo, and Abraham Kawa, sources told Helwani. "Gamebred" is still deciding on his new fourth cornerman.