UFC 251 Tips, Predictions and Preview

Trent Orwin:
UFC 251 Tips

UFC 251: Usman vs Masvidal will take place at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Sunday, July 12 at 12pm AEST.

UFC 251 Tips

Three title fights are set to take place at UFC 251 with UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending against Jorge Masvidal in the main event.

The co-main event is a UFC Featherweight Title bout between champion Alexander Volkanovski in a rematch against the man he defeated for the strap, Max Holloway.

With the retirement of UFC Bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, the vacant title is up for grabs with Petr Yan fighting former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo who made his Bantamweight debut against Marlon Moraes in a losing effort at his most recent fight.

Here are our tips and predictions for the main card of UFC 251.

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal


Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway

We have an immediate rematch between new champion Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) from Australia fighting against the United States’ Max Holloway (21-5).

The first bout saw Volkanovski dominate Holloway early with leg kicks. The challenger seemed to have the first three rounds in the bag before the champ fought back. It was too little too late for “Blessed” as Volkanovski won via unanimous decision.

Holloway will be prepared for the leg kicks this time around and his experience in championship fights can come to the fore as he exacts his revenge to once again claim the UFC Featherweight Championship and hand Volkanovski his first UFC defeat.

Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo

The up-and-coming Petr Yan (14-1) gets his first title fight against former UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo (28-6) who comes off a two-fight losing streak which is a rare occurrence for a title bout.

Yan has won his last nine fights and is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC. Meanwhile, Aldo has lost his last two fights against Alexander Volkanovski and Marlon Moraes. The latter was his Bantamweight debut where he suffered a split decision loss. It was a close fight that could have been argued either way.

The pressure of Yan could prove too much for Aldo with Yan landing 5.65 significant strikes per minute and landing 1.73 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Yan looks most likely to come out on top and win his first title in the UFC by knocking out Aldo.

Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas

UFC 237 saw Jessica Andrade capture the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship from Rose Namajunas with a KO slam in the second round. She then was knocked out in 42 seconds by Zhang Weili.

“Thug Rose” controlled the opening round of their first fight before the slam ended her night. She had beaten Michelle Waterson via submission and Joanna Jedrzejczyk twice to win and then defend the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship in the lead up to that title defence.

This time around there is no belt up for grabs but Namajunas should look to out-strike Andrade. With only three rounds, Namajunas can let her hands and feet fly more furiously and she has the tools to stop Andrade either via KO/TKO or submission.

Amanda Ribas vs Paige VanZant

We have Amanda Ribas (9-1) fighting against Paige VanZant (8-4) who looks set to leave the UFC. Ribas is a dominant $1.10 favourite and it looks a foregone conclusion that she will extend her unbeaten UFC run to four wins. Whether that is via stoppage or decision remains to be seen but no interest in backing any result in this fight.