Saturday's UFC 267 pay-per-view headlined by Jan Blachowicz defending his light heavyweight championship against Glover Teixeira will sound different than normal and, for many who have only followed mixed martial arts since it became mainstream, will represent a first.
Per Damon Martin of MMA Fighting, UFC president Dana White confirmed during a press conference that longtime and beloved announcer Bruce Buffer has tested positive for COVID-19 and, thus, isn't at the Fight Island site in Abu Dhabi.
"Buffer got COVID," White said of the 64-year-old. "He didn’t want to make this trip. He’s home relaxing and recovering from COVID."
Joe Martinez, who is no stranger to UFC fans and has worked in Buffer's place in the past, will handle the in-cage duties on Saturday.
Buffer is known for his trademark turns during introductions and his boisterous "It's time!" calls before main events of cards.
As Jack Browne of theScore noted, Buffer had worked 255 straight numbered/pay-per-view UFC events dating back 25 years to UFC 11 held in September 1996.
UFC 268 is scheduled for Nov. 6 and will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.