Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal
Kamaru Usman (-270) (16-1-0)
“The Nigerian Nightmare” has plans of “rag-dolling” Jorge Masvidal in Saturday night’s main event. Kamaru Usman is an elite wrestler and he’s huge for the welterweight division. He has excellent cardio and he uses it to apply constant pressure. He smothers his opponents, gets takedowns, and proceeds to drown them. It’s an efficient formula and has him unbeaten in the UFC with names like Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley, Rafael Dos Anjos, Demian Maia, and Leon Edwards already on his resume. He’ll be looking to add perhaps the biggest name yet in Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in UFC 251’s main event.
Jorge Masvidal (+210) (35-13-0)
The BMF champion and UFC veteran steps back into the octagon Saturday night with the chance to add an undisputed UFC title to his resume. Street Jesus has resurrected his career into stardom after taking a brief hiatus in 2018. Since his return he’s knocked Darren Till into the middleweight division, set a UFC record with a 5-second flying-knee KO over Ben Askren, and topped off his 2019 by beating down Nate Diaz for the BMF belt. Masvidal has an opportunity to add to his legendary status and vault himself into superstardom with a win over Usman in Saturday night’s main event.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman via 4th Round KO/TKO
Despite taking this fight on short notice, Masvidal is a very intelligent fighter and he’s had his sights on Usman for awhile. He’s had time to pick up on his habits and he’s put together a game-plan to counter them. Whether it’s Usman diving in on a single leg or throwing looping power shots, Masvidal will have opportunities to capitalize.
Usman’s striking is improving and he showed that with a knockout over Covington last time out. His cardio is off the charts and he looked no worse for wear dropping him in the 5th round. He has very strong grappling and a relentless persistence that drains his opponents as the fight goes on. He takes you down, you get back up, and he takes you down again; rinse and repeat.
Usman may not take home the BMF belt Saturday night but he’s going to be too much for Masvidal. Masvidal’s on a great run but he’s gotten fortuitous matchups and there’s a reason he originally priced himself out of this fight. It worked out I guess, and he’s getting more money (and respect), but he’s still going to take this loss. Kamaru grounds and pounds him into oblivion in the 4th round.