In a matter of days, the main event of this weekend’s UFC 251 pay-per-view went from set in stone, to potential cancellation, to an all-time classic fight.
Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is now in the main event against rival Kamaru Usman for the Welterweight Championship.
Let’s take a look at what led up to this announcement and how this fight will play out.
The original main event for UFC 251 was set to be Kamaru Usman defending his Welterweight Championship against Gilbert Burns. Burns was looking to continue his stellar 2020 by adding some gold to his mantle. Unfortunately for Burns, he tested positive for COVID-19 before he departed for Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. This obviously led the UFC to pull Burns from the fight and left the main event in jeopardy.
With limited time to find a replacement, it was looking more and more likely that the Welterweight Championship would live to be defended another day, and the defacto main event would now be the rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway for the Featherweight Championship. However, a savior in the form of “Street Jesus,” Jorge Masvidal stepped in and was willing to negotiate, on a week’s notice, to take on Usman. Masvidal has been notoriously sitting out due to contract disputes with the UFC over fight payment. However, everything aligned quickly enough for the fight to be made and the new main event is the fight that most fans were clamoring for; Jorge Masvidal versus Kamaru Usman.
The only hurdles now will be the pre-fight COVID-19 testing, as well as the weight cut. Weight cuts themselves are incredibly difficult but losing the weight on a weeks notice will be even more taxing on the body. Assuming all hurdles are conquered however, how can we expect the fight to go?
As previously stated, this fight was made just this week. While Usman has been training for a title fight against a different opponent, at least he has been training for said title fight. Masvidal did not know he would be getting a five round title fight until days before departing for Fight Island.
This fight will certainly test Masvidal’s will to win and drive to succeed. Usman will also be tested however as these two are very different stylistically. Usman is an incredibly strong wrestler who uses his wrestling to keep the fight standing. He likes to trade punched at a distance but maintains that strong wrestling should he need it. Masvidal also likes to keep the fights standing but utilizes more dirty boxing in the clinch as well as unusual entries on his exchanges to not only throw off his opponent, but also land some very heavy punches.
Masvidal will certainly have to avoid the takedowns should he try engage in the clinch as well. Masvidal is no slouch on the ground, but he is absolutely more comfortable on the feet. Look for this fight be a stand up brawl for as long as these two can trade punches.
This fight will either see the Champion Kamaru Usman add another incredible win to his already Hall of Fame-caliber resume, or fan-favorite Masvidal assume the throne as not only the BMF of the UFC, but the new Welterweight Champion.
Who do you think will win this Welterweight Championship fight?
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