Alexander Volkanovski Out of UFC 260 Due to COVID-19 Protocols, Ortega Fight Postponed

Alexander Volkanovski UFC
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 12: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates after his split-decision victory over Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The match-up will stay intact, but Alexander Volkanovski will not fight Brian Ortega next weekend at UFC 260 as expected.

During Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 22 broadcast, the promotion announced the bad news: the featherweight title fight was postponed. The culprit, champ Alexander Volkanovski being forced off the card due to COVID-19 protocols.

Volkanovski vs. Ortega had been expected to serve as UFC 260’s co-main event. No mention of what triggered the COVID-19 protocols in question was made. However, such an announcement generally means a positive test by a fighter or one of his team members.

Volkanovski (22-1) was looking to make the first defense of his 145lb title in the fight. The Australian, training out of City Kickboxing, remains undefeated in the UFC. After winning back-to-back fights against Max Holloway that saw Volkanovski win then defend the title, he was moving on to a new opponent for the first time since his 2019 win over Jose Aldo.

Ortega (15-1, 1NC) had bounced back from a loss to Holloway in his first title bid by defeating The Korean Zombie back in October. That was enough to punch his ticket to a second shot at the belt.

No alternate date has been revealed for the now-delayed title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega.

UFC 260 takes place Saturday, March 27 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. One title fight remains on the card, as heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic defends his title against Francis Ngannou for the second time. The event currently consists of the following bouts:

Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Francis Ngannou – for the UFC heavyweight championship
Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque
Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida
Khama Worthy vs. Jamie Mullarkey
Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight
Jessica Penne vs. Hannah Goldy
Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Jared Gooden
Modestas Bukauskas vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk
Gillian Robertson vs. Miranda Maverick
Shane Young vs. Omar Morales
Marc-André Barriault vs. Abu Azaitar