Jorge Masvidal may be stepping in on short notice at UFC 251, but he’s been staying ready the entire time, thanks to his housemate.

Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) had initially offered to save the UFC 249 card on April 18 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages. But now, with Gilbert Burns ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19, Masvidal will face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on just six days’ notice in the main event of UFC 251 this Saturday.

Fortunately, Masvidal’s housemate throughout the pandemic has been his longtime boxing coach, Paulino Hernandez, who has kept “Gamebred” sharp and in shape during the COVID-19 lockdown. It means Masvidal is fighting fit and ready to take his chance on “UFC Fight Island.”

“When it came up to fight on April 18, I was dead serious,” Masvidal told MMA Junkie earlier this year. “I know that I’m training every day, and I know that not everybody’s training every day and especially a lot of the guys in my weight division. Gyms are closed down, people don’t have sparring partners. Thank goodness that my head coach from a kid, for the longest time, lives with me. It’s not because of quarantine, it’s because he lives with me.

“I brought him with me when I was able to get this house. I said I’m going to train always, every day, all day, no excuses. The first thing I’m going to do is make sure I have enough space for my coach to come live with me. … We work out literally at all times of the day. If I’m up at one o’clock in the morning, we might get in 30, 40 minutes of pads and just one technique in practice. So, from a mental place, I’m at a very good place.”

After an incredible 2019 that included three straight stoppage wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz, Masvidal emerged as the No. 1 contender for the UFC welterweight title. But, after negotiations with the UFC fell through, the promotion moved on to surging welterweight Burns instead.

But now, with Burns forced out, Masvidal is back to his original spot and will challenge for a UFC title for the first time since joining the roster in 2013.

UFC 251 takes place Saturday (Sunday locally) at “UFC Fight Island” on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The card airs on ESPN+ pay per view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.