UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his title against Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 251 at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Start Time
The main card at UFC 251 begins at 12pm AEST on Sunday, July 12.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Preview and Prediction
The original main event for UFC 251 was set to be UFC Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman defending his title against Gilbert Burns following a sixth-straight win over former champion Tyron Woodley.
Instead of that fight, we will see Usman (16-1-0) put his belt on the line against Jorge Masvidal (35-13-0) who has won his past three fights over Darren Till, Ben Askren (in a record-setting five seconds) and Nate Diaz for the UFC BMF belt.
Usman hasn’t tasted defeat since his second professional fight back in 2013. Since then, he has become one of the UFC’s biggest stars winning the UFC Welterweight Championship from Woodley at UFC 235 and successfully defending it with a TKO win over Colby Covington at UFC 245.
There will be a two-inch reach advantage in favour of the champion. Usman’s primary method of victory is Decision with the judge’s required in eight of his last 10 fights.
Masvidal has lost six times in the UFC with all of them via Decision. He can take punishment as he absorbs 4.18 significant strikes per minute compared to Usman who absorbs 2.17 per minute.
The concern in the fight will be Usman looking for takedowns against Masvidal and Usman can get his opponents on the mat with 3.44 takedowns per 15 minutes. Against Rafael Dos Anjos, Usman recorded a staggering 12 takedowns as he dominated 49-45, 50-43, 48-47 on the scorecards.
Other key takedown numbers for Usman were eight against Emil Weber Meek and two against both Woodley and Sean Strickland.
Masvidal is probably the more likely fighter to end this fight but it’s hard to be confident that he can stop Usman.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Tips
This fight could go the full five rounds and regardless of who comes out on top, it should be an entertaining bout. We will play it a little safer and go with Over 3.5 rounds.