Bruce Buffer has contracted COVID-19 and will miss his first numbered UFC event in over 25 years.
MMA Junkie was first to announce that Buffer contracted COVID-19 and would be unable to perform his normal duties on the pay-per-view. Instead of Bruce Buffer, veteran voice of the Octagon Joe Martinez will fill in as his replacement. According to several reports, Buffer has attended every numbered UFC event since UFC 11.
UFC president Dana White confirmed with reporters at the press conference that Buffer indeed contracted the virus and will be unable to attend the mega-event.
“Buffer got COVID,” White said. “He didn’t want to make this trip. He’s home relaxing and recovering from COVID.”
While Bruce Buffer will be unable to attend UFC 267, it has been confirmed that the voice of the Octagon will make his anticipated return at the UFC 268 pay-per-view event next Saturday. UFC 268 is expected to take place in New York. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will meet Colby Covington in a highly anticipated rematch for 170-pound gold. The two first met in Dec. of 2019. While the fight was action-packed, ultimately Usman would secure victory in dramatic fashion with a fifth-round TKO.
Bruce Buffer Will Return At UFC 268
Buffer will not be able to attend UFC 267 but shared some of the details of his situation.
“Thanks for reaching out. I just finished my 14-day quarantine and feeling like myself again and will be ready to roar the roof off Madison Square Garden next week,” Buffer told Ariel Helwani. “My 24-year-plus Cal Ripken streak is over but doubt it will ever be beaten. As Dana said, it would take a bullet to keep me out of the Octagon, but COVID got me first.” h/t BJ Penn.com
The UFC has made its way back to Fight Island and first on the docket is UFC 267. The event will host two title fights. First, Petr Yan is making his re-entrance back into the weight class he ruled over when he meets Cory Sandhagen for the interim bantamweight title. In addition, the night will host light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz who is looking to turn in another title defense against the seasoned UFC veteran Glover Teixeira.
The card is stacked with talent as the world will witness the return of the original Fight Island star, Khamzat Chimaev. The rising welterweight will be tasked with facing China’s Jingliang Li. Currently, Chimaev is unbeaten in the UFC and is riding a nine-fight winning streak. All of his bouts have ended by way of finish.