UFC 251 Predictions
Who will emerge victorious on the long-awaited debut of Fight Island?
In the most stacked card of the year so far, we are treated to three title fights on our main card and some absolute bangers on the prelims and undercard of this month's UFC PPV.
UFC 251 has had some serious last-minute shake-ups, but in most people's opinion, it has only raised the hype for the first foray into the now-legendary Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Jorge Masvidal managed to settle his money differences to slide into a welterweight title showdown with champion Kamaru Usman in a bitter grudge match. Then there is a big rematch between former featherweight king Max Holloway and the man who dethroned him, Alexander Volkanovski.
In the third title fight of the evening, Petr Yan gets his much-awaited bantamweight title shot against legend Jose Aldo. This is after Rose Namajunas returns to rematch Jessica Andrade in a possible title-eliminator, and Paige VanZant takes on rising contender Amanda Ribas in what is looking like her final UFC fight.
There are a lot more exciting match-ups hidden in the prelims too. Here are the predictions for this weekend's bouts, starting with an exciting main event that is the talk of the MMA world right now.
8. Kamaru Usman Vs. Jorge Masvidal (UFC Welterweight Championship)
A late-in-the-game positive virus test scrapped #1 contender Gilbert Burns from the card, and the massively popular Cuban 'Street Jesus' Jorge Masvidal has stepped in on barely a week's notice.
This is in itself an intriguing match-up. Masvidal is a striker with under-rated technical skill, which he showed off when he snuck in a left hand on Darren Till for a brutal KO. He also has solid defensive grappling, managing to hold his own against human anaconda Demian Maia in a fight that played out nearly completely on the floor.
Of course, 'Gamebred' scored the KO of the year when he decimated Ben Askren, then utterly dominated Nate Diaz for the symbolic BMF belt. His momentum coming into this is at an all-time high.
However, Usman is no joke, and besides a stand-up war with Colby Covington, he's dominated every fight he's had with elite wrestling by grinding his opponent into the canvas.
Masvidal will make it a dogfight and could shock the world, but let's not kid ourselves that he's not coming in on six days notice, and all the talk of him not stopping training means little.
A lot of that six days will be spent on travel and getting through tests, and Usman is a beast of a wrestler with insane cardio on a full camp.
Beyond another flying knee chance, it will be a long night for Jorge and 'The Nigerian Nightmare' should ragdoll him for five straight rounds.
Prediction: Usman Via Decision