Alex Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega UFC Title Fight Canceled Due to COVID-19 Rules

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

A general overall view of the empty Octagon is seen before a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC Fight Night, Sunday, December 8, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The UFC 260 co-main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega for the featherweight championship has been canceled.

Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, UFC officials announced on Saturday's Fight Night show the bout has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Helwani noted that no makeup date has been announced. The UFC Fight Night broadcasters noted Volkanovski was removed from the card due to health and safety protocols.

Per Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports, Volkanovski's training partner, Brad Riddell, had his scheduled fight against Gregor Gillespie on Saturday canceled for COVID-19 protocols.

Volkanovski was set to make his second title defense at the March 27 event. He won the featherweight championship from Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019 and successfully defended it in a rematch seven months later.

Ortega became the No. 1 contender for the crown after a unanimous-decision win over Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night in October. The 30-year-old lost his last title fight against Holloway at UFC 231 when the doctor stopped the match between Rounds 4 and 5.

UFC 260 will be headlined by a heavyweight championship match between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.