Getty Images

There will be an audible vocal void at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night, as longtime UFC octagon announcer Bruce Buffer will be absent from the ring for the first time in nearly a quarter century. On Thursday, UFC President Dana White revealed that Buffer is ill with COVID-19, and he will subsequently not travel to this weekend's UFC pay-per-view.

"He didn't want to make this trip. He's home relaxing and recovering from COVID," White said of Buffer according to a report by Damon Martin of

Filling in for Buffer on the UFC 267 broadcast team will be Joe Martinez, who usually serves as the ring announcer when Buffer is unable to attend an event. Buffer's absence ends a streak of 25 years consecutively announcing UFC numbered PPV events: He has not missed a single pay-per-view card since 1996, though there was some confusion as to whether his streak started at UFC 11 or UFC 13.

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including the top storylines to follow for UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday below.

"UFC 8 I did prelims. UFC 10 full show and then UFC 13 on non-stop. Covid does affects memory I guess LOL," wrote Buffer, per Ariel Helwani.

The 64-year old Buffer has become one of the most iconic voices in all of mixed martial arts, while also working in other capacities including boxing matches, video game voiceovers, and an appearance on ESPN's Monday Night Football.