Volkanovski tests positive; Ortega title bout off

MMA

Alexander Volkanovski is out of his featherweight title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 260 because of promotion COVID-19 protocols, the UFC announced Saturday night on the UFC Fight Night broadcast.

Volkanovski vs. Ortega was scheduled for the co-main event March 27 in Las Vegas.

Volkanovski, a native of Australia, had already flown into Vegas this past week, UFC play-by-play announcer Brendan Fitzgerald said. The bout is likely to be postponed to a later date.

UFC 260 will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou.

Volkanovski (22-1) has been featherweight champion since he defeated Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019. He beat Holloway in a rematch at UFC 251 last July in a hotly contested, close split decision. Volkanovski, 32, is 9-0 in the UFC has not lost a fight since 2013.

Ortega (15-1, 1 NC) is coming off a bounce-back win over “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung last October. The California native has just one career loss, to Holloway in a featherweight title fight in December 2018. Ortega, 30, has seven UFC wins, including six by finish.

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