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The UFC 251 Abu Dhabi Screwjob

“The story changed when it finally came out that Michaels, Triple H and a handful of others were fully in on the plan to execute the cloak-and-dagger title change in front of millions,” writes author Tim Fiorvanti in his November 8, 2019 ESPN.com article titled, “Shawn Michaels reflects on the Montreal Screwjob.” In taking us back to where it all began, according to the report, “On Nov. 9, 1997, the professional wrestling industry changed forever. In the midst of the most heated days of the "Monday Night Wars" between World Wrestling Entertainment (then the WWF) and World Championship Wrestling, money and contract issues led Bret Hart and Vince McMahon to an impasse. McMahon needed to get the title off of Hart before he left for WCW, and Hart refused to lose the title to Shawn Michaels, his most bitter rival,” explains Fiorvanti.

Describing a secret plan hatched by the WWF to betray Bret Hart in front of millions of fans and have the promotions new flagship superstar Shawn Michaels executive an insulting fight ending secret submission hold on Hart without his prior knowledge in order to wrestle the title away from the champion before he jumped ship to the companies rival wrestling promotion, ESPN goes on to explain that the “secret finish” was in fact Bret Harts own sharpshooter submission.

In a match which was allegedly supposed to end in a no contest with Hart relinquishing the title the next night on television, Michaels would go on to apply Hart’s own sharpshooter submission after initially getting the technique wrong and having Hart himself make adjustments during the middle of the match in order to correct Michaels’ mistake in getting the submission hold correct. Soon after, as the epic tale goes, Vince McMahon would go on to double cross Hart and stab him in the back by ordering the referee to have the bell rung after Shawn had fully applied the submission thereby giving the perception of a legitimate finishing hold and having Michaels declared the winner of the match.

The incident hardly went without notice, sporting a shiner on national television shortly after having allegedly been knocked out cold backstage by an enraged Bret Hart uppercut, a defiant Vince McMahon would brilliantly take the ball and roll with it as if the entire plot itself, which at that point had been exposed for everyone to see, was all part of the scripted world of professional wrestling to begin with despite the fact of the tale being told today as a very real surprise betrayal.

“Rather than sweep this incident under the rug, Vince capitalizes on it by transforming this real life incident into a story line where he reinvents himself into an evil, conniving, mastermind,” explained the narrator of the 2019 documentary, “Dark Side of the Ring: The Montreal Screwjob.”

Many years later, some more WWE shenanigans were in the air as Ken Shamrock was slated to face Kimbo Slice at EliteXC in mixed martial arts competition before suffering a mysterious cut at the last minute which forced Shamrock to withdrawal from the contest as the very game Seth Petruzelli was substituted in as a late, last second replacement. As a longtime super fan of combat sports, I had been around the block enough from the spectator’s seat alone to know how the industry actually works and immediately knew Slice was about to be in for a very rude awakening. Not surprisingly to me anyway, Seth Petruzelli went on to shock the world that night by defeating the legendary street fighter Kimbo Slice inside the MMA cage in convincing fashion by luring the brawler in before establishing some distance and dropping the street fighting great with a short right hand punch to the button.

What many fans and even pundits alike fail to take into account and understand is the absolutely crooked nature in which combat sports entertainment industry actually works. There is a seemingly endless amount of ways in which the outcome of a fight can be influenced if not outright fixed under absolutely fraudulent terms. For those who know what they’re looking at and talking about, it’s a matter of fact that fixed fights happen all the time in combat sports. And considering the regularity in which the weird, strange out of the ordinary circumstances and turn of events seem to occur lately in mixed martial arts it’s interesting to note the near industry wide blackout among the mixed martial arts media in reporting on the obvious conflicts of interest and outright corruption plaguing the sport.

A fact which attests to either their complicity in the corruption or their prevailing inexperience in their inability to understand even the most basic premises of competitive mixed martial arts. When the integrity of the sport and legitimacy of the match making process is perverted for everyone to see, the vast majority of the mixed martial arts media is busy marketing the next big and highly publicized bout without so much as looking in the rear-view mirror or thinking about the history of the last sacrificed bout.

Recently, it was reported that Gilbert Burns was forced to withdrawal from his UFC 251 championship bout against former teammate and training partner Kamaru Usman due to returning an allegedly positive COVID-19 test result. In late June, it was reported by ESPN and several other outlets that Usman had switched training camps in the lead up and preparation for the bout in order to avoid any perceived conflicts of interests. And not more than a month later, seemingly overnight, it was announced that Jorge Masvidal was in talks with the UFC to be a late, last second substitute replacement for the COVID-19 positive Gilbert “Durinho” Burns who has since gone on to turn his attention to fellow UFC welterweight Nate Diaz on Twitter social media.

Bizarrely, Gilberts brother Herbert would go on to make sure everyone was aware on Twitter social media himself that he was negative for COVID-19 and never tested positive to begin with. A fact which not only calls into question much of the mainstream MMA media’s narrative that COVID-19 is so contagious and dangerous that it warranted a near industry wide shut down, but oddly enough calling into question the entire narrative itself concocted by the UFC considering few if anybody was questioning Herberts COVID-19 status. Oddly, since Jacare tested positive at UFC 249 and was infamously seen mingling amongst other fighters and fans an outbreak amongst the MMA community has thankfully not occurred and for those athletes who have allegedly contracted the virus an alarming number of them seem perfectly healthy and fine, ready to compete. A microcosm of the general population, these athletes are unfortunately turning out to be the real victims of the viral health crisis.

In fact, with Herbert taking to Twitter to assure everyone that he was fine coupled with the fact Kamaru Usman still remains on the UFC 251 card despite having been close training partners with the COVID-19 positive Gilbert Burns until only very recently testifies to the fact that a very different picture is beginning to emerge than the one many of the MMA media reported on earlier in the year in their angst to condemn the UFC for attempting to push through a global coronavirus pandemic. And I can tell you right now, so far none of them have back tracked to admit their propaganda was wrong amidst a growing body of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Considering the last second nature of Masvidal’s substitution into the welterweight title picture, a fact which puts the champion Kamaru Usman in a compromising position of having to deal with the pressure of accepting a surprise opponent substitution without a proper training camp scheduled specifically around his new opponent; let’s take a closer look at the UFC’s COVID-19 testing regimen which is ultimately responsible for the surprise turn of events and change in the welterweight championship title picture.

According to a May 5, 2020 MMAJunkie.com report titled, “Video:  Ahead of UFC 249, Tony Ferguson takes COVID-19 nasal swab test like a pro,” author Nolan King writes that, “The UFC is mandating all UFC 249 fighters and their corners, UFC staff, and media to undergo two tests. The first test is an antibody test, which determines whether a person has ever had COVID-19. The test is basically a finger prick. The second test is a carrier test, which determines if a person has the virus now. That’s the nasal swab, as seen in Ferguson’s video.”

Interestingly, digging deeper into the subject of the antibody finger prick tests, according to an April 27, 2020 UCSF.edu report titled, “Testing the Tests: COVID-19 Assays Scrutinized for Accuracy by UCSF, Berkeley Researchers,” authors Pete Farley and Robert Sanders write that, “In head-to-head comparisons of a dozen tests, the researchers have already found that many of the tests performed reasonably well, especially two weeks or more after infection, when levels of antibodies in the blood begin to peak. But many of the test kits have false positive rates that may exceed the proportion of people who have been infected in some communities. That means that a large proportion of those testing positive on an antibody test may not actually have had COVID-19.”

And according to a May 8, 2020 Time magazine article titled, “Inherent Flaws in COVID-19 Testing Mean Some of Those Infected Don't Get the Treatment They Need,” author Zach Schonfeld writes that, “The nasal swab diagnostic test, which involves amplifying small traces of DNA using a laboratory technique known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, is far from infallible. One preprint article from China estimates the false-negative rate to be as high as 30%.”

“The first thing to know is that PCR is a very sensitive test,” writes Neel V. Patel in his March 5, 2020 Associated Press article titled, “Why the CDC botched its coronavirus testing.” According to the report, “You need extremely clean reagents, and the smallest contaminants can ruin it completely (as happened in this instance). A negative control that detects the wrong viral genome and raises a false positive is practically a worst-case scenario, because it calls into question all the other results in the run – you don’t know if samples are truly positive or if they are positive because of the contamination. ‘You basically can’t even judge if anything worked,’ says Nigel McMillan, the direction of infectious diseases and immunology at Griffith University in Australia.”

With a number of variables coming into play that can potentially skew results of a COVID-19 test result, whether it be an antibody test consisting of a finger prick or the PCR nasal swab test, according to a May 7, 2020 Forbes.com article titled, “This Is How 'False Positives' And 'False Negatives' Can Bias COVID-19 Testing,” author Ethan Segal notes that, “In reality, most tests can have both false positives and false negatives associated with them. (Even home pregnancy tests can have false positives.) For the widespread tests we've been using for SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 in humans, both false positives and false negatives are ubiquitous, but can have vastly different consequences.”

Some of those consequences can include the risk of a false negative which essentially means one can actually have the virus when you’ve been told that you do not, potentially putting not only yourself but an untold number of other individuals that you've come in contact with at risk based upon fraudulently supplied information. Other possibilities include the risk of a false positive where your constitutional rights and civil liberties are erroneously eroded away, including potentially everyone else around you as draconian contact tracing measures are potentially implemented under the color of scientific socialism.

This could potentially lead to a nightmare scenario of mandatory forced quarantines, virtual imprisonment in your own home or in a facility of the authorities choosing based upon inherently flawed and potentially misleading information. And in the case of Gilbert Burns, the consequences of an apparently legitimate positive test for COVID-19 include losing out on a welterweight title shot, an opportunity not generously handed out, despite obviously being ready to compete against Nate Diaz literally within hours of Masvidal vs Usman officially being confirmed as the substitute replacement bout.

To say the least, news of Burns being dropped from his highly anticipated matchup against former teammate Kamaru Usman came to many as a surprise with the news seemingly shifting quickly from the Burns vs Usman matchup to promoting the Masvidal substitute bout without much if any focus on the sudden change in direction. Interestingly, upon learning of the alleged Burns coronavirus positive test I had expressed an interest on Twitter social media in learning more about the UFC’s testing program and was quickly inundated throughout the rest of the day by Zuffa zombies slamming the like button to a reply I had received containing a UFC infographic with their COVID-19 testing procedure and protocol.

Titled, “International Delegation - The Journey from Flight to Fight,” the infographic listed five separate COVID-19 testing procedures administered by the promotion before making it to UFC Fight Island Abu Dhabi. While at last count, approximately 27 Zuffa zombies felt compelled to periodically remind me of this infographic throughout the day, there was apparently zero interest from the Zuffa zombie MMA community in the sister thread I later created containing much of the same information within this report designed to investigate the veracity of the antibody and PCR nasal swab tests currently being administered by the organization.

And with the UFC administering at least five different tests spread over a week’s time period between two different countries and two different testing procedures the potential for a false negative or false positive reading result significantly increases the chances of something terribly wrong coming about. A fact which ultimately brings the sheer amount of testing procedures in light of their inherent unreliability into focus for fight fans and readers across the globe alike who may find themselves subject to either of these testing procedures in the future which are in their infancy of development in accurately identifying SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 in humans.

With Gilbert Burns’ highly anticipated matchup against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman officially cancelled and off the books, the vast majority of the MMA media who had originally rushed to condemn the UFC in moving forward amidst a global coronavirus pandemic have all but faded from the table of discussion when it comes to questioning and evaluating this latest episode of the weird, strange and out of the ordinary in mixed martial arts. A curious anomaly which has led to the champion Kamaru Usman being put into the compromising position of accepting a last second opponent substitution based upon the COVID-19 testing procedures they originally hung their widespread industry condemnation over.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade when you’re $4-billion in the hole and find yourself operating a global mixed martial arts organization amidst a coronavirus pandemic. In a combat sports entertainment industry increasingly moving towards a more professional wrestling-esk marketing model; narratives are crafted, stories are created and paths are forged in order to fashion stars instead of allowing them to organically grow. With this information in mind, it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit to ultimately find out Jorge Masvidal has been training all along in an effort to specifically defeat the champion Kamaru Usman.

Nothing is by chance in the UFC where master plans are forged well in advance to the events on the ground actually taking place including the plan to insert Jorge Masvidal in against the welterweight champion Kamaru Usman all along according to a June 5, 2020 ESPN.com article by Marc Raimondi titled, “Jorge Masvidal in contract dispute with UFC: ‘Let me go’.

According to the report, “For the second straight week, the UFC is sparring with one of its biggest stars. Jorge Masvidal, one of MMA's hottest names, took to Twitter on Friday to air his grievances over the breakdown of contract talks with the UFC. Masvidal was supposed to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title in July, but negotiations have fallen apart,” Raimondi noted.

Fast forward approximately a month later, and the Masvidal vs Usman fight is officially a go after a surprise COVID-19 test result from Gilbert Burns whose brother Herbert immediately took to Twitter social media to confirm he never tested positive in the first place and doesn't have COVID-19. The only other victim here in this unfortunate equation is poor Kamaru Usman himself who has been left holding the shortest straw as his new opponent Jorge Masvidal only just recently arrived at new, favorable terms in his contract negotiation process.

“The UFC’s only “BMF” champion had done his research to understand the kind of money he was generating and he wasn’t going to budge until the promotion came to him with an offer worth his time," explains author Damon Martin. "When that didn’t happen, Masvidal walked away from the negotiating table and the UFC opted to book Gilbert Burns against Kamaru Usman," reports MMAFighting.com with a bit of inside, behind the scenes information according to their July 6, 2020 article titled, “Jorge Masvidal admits how deal came together to fight at UFC 251, promises to ‘baptize’ Kamaru Usman.

According to the report, “On Friday night, Masvidal and his team got a call from the UFC asking if he’d like to revisit that discussion because Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and they wanted him to face Usman on short notice. Twenty-four hours later, the UFC and Masvidal agreed to terms on a new deal and now the new UFC 251 main event is official.”

And with that story told, all that is missing for the screwjob to be complete is for Jorge Masvidal to put Kamaru Usman in the sharpshooter’s crosshairs in route to capturing Marty from Nebraska's UFC welterweight championship crown. With the man behind the curtain still clandestinely pulling strings, the stars have aligned for no better opportunity than for Masvidal to seize the day by sitting down at the silver platter bestowed before him in catching the champion Usman off-guard and relatively unprepared for a last-minute opponent substitution which increasingly looks like a cloak-and-dagger plan hatched in an attempt to wrestle the title away from the welterweight champion at the UFC 251 Abu Dhabi Screwjob.