UFC 251 is a crazy stacked event that may be the front runner for the fight card of the year. It’s not often a card that loses half of its main event six days out and gets better!
No. Fighters won’t be duking it out in an octagon on the beach at Fight Island. They’ll be fighting inside the comfort of the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. But who cares? Do you remember what the BodogFIGHT cards looked like? No one wants to go back to that.
The main card for UFC 251 kicks off with a women’s flyweight bout between Amanda Ribas and Paige Vanzant. Then follows a women’s strawweight bout between the #1 and #2 contenders, Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas. What follows is three title fights featuring three legends.
UFC 251: Usman vs Masvidal
Saturday, July 11th – 10:00 PM ET
UFC Fight Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Network: ESPN+ PPV
We’ll take a closer look at the top three fights to cap off the night on July 11th.
Kamaru Usman (-270) vs Jorge Masvidal (+210)
“The Nigerian Nightmare” has solidified himself as a true 170lb champion in the UFC. Usman is 16-1-0 as a fighter and undefeated in 11 UFC fights. In his UFC tenure, Usman has put together an impressive resume.
Kamaru Usman holds wins over Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Tyron Woodly, and most recently, Colby Covington.
While Usman is not particularly known for his finishing ability, his power is undeniable. The 33 year old wrestler from Auchi, Nigeria is arguably the strongest wrestler in the welterweight division. He often ragdolls his opponents and renders them powerless.
In recent fights versus Woodly and Covington, Usman has shown more of his striking ability. He stood with Colby for five rounds and broke his jaw while putting a beating on the heel.
Jorge Masvidal stepped up on six days notice to challenge Kamaru Usman. Before joining the UFC, Jorge Masvidal made his name on the street fighting circuit in Miami, made popular by Kimbo Slice. Masvidal is 35-13-0 as a mixed martial artist. When he steps into the octagon on Saturday night, Masvidal will be the fighter with the second-most fights before getting a UFC title shot (Overeem, 56).
“Gambred” is coming off the best year of his career. Within eight months of 2019, Masvidal completely changed the narrative of his career. He knocked out the much larger Darren Till on enemy turf. Masvidal then set the record for quickest finish in UFC history when he hit Ben Askren with a flying knee from hell four seconds into the fight. He capped off 2019 by beating and cutting up Nate Diaz in a fight for the BMF title at UFC 244.
“Cuban Jesus” will be looking for his 36th win and first UFC official title on Saturday night.
Alexander Volkanovski (-230) vs Max Holloway (+180)
The last time these two men met, it wasn’t pretty for Max Holloway.
Alexander Volkanovski (21-1-0) terrorized the featherweight champion for five rounds. He punished the champion with heavy fists and well-timed kicks. Volkanovski’s leg kicks were all the difference in their first fight. They caused Holloway to switch his stance several times throughout the fight and took a toll on the champion’s punching power.
“The Great” has put together a great body of work. He’s beaten three former UFC champions in as many fights (Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes) in decisive fashion. Eleven of the champion’s 18 victories have been by way of knockout.
Max Holloway is a certified G in the cage. He too has beaten a smorgasbord of top talent. “Blessed” has wins over Frankie Edgar, Brian Ortega, Jose Aldo (twice), Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas, and more.
Expect to see Holloway check more leg kicks and utilize his height to his advantage.
Petr Yan (-220) vs Jose Aldo (+175)
Jose Aldo is and always will be a legend in this sport. On Saturday, he’ll be taking on Petr “No Mercy” Yan.
Aldo is 28-6-0 as a professional mixed martial artist. He’s had mixed results since losing the featherweight title to Max Holloway in 2017. Aldo is 2-2 since 2018, though he lost both of his 2019 bouts against Volkanovski and Marlon Moraes. Both of those fights were three rounders.
Jose Aldo will be moving down to compete for the UFC Bantamweight title abandoned by Henry Cejudo. His opponent is undefeated in six UFC fights. He’s quickly moved up the ranks and has made a name for himself with wins over Urijah Faber (KO/TKO), Jimmie Rivera (decision), and John Dodson (decision). Yan is on a nine-fight win streak with six knockouts to his name.
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