After the COVID-19 pandemic caused months of agonizing delays and cancellations for sports fans, UFC is finally delivering a live event. This Saturday, July 11, the UFC 251 will feature three championship matches at their facility on Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. However, this UFC 251 is unlike any before. After Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus last week, Jorge Masvidal stepped up as his substitute. This means that Masvidal will face off against Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title — the main event of the night. If you want to tune in for this unprecedented match, you can watch UFC 251 on ESPN+. But before you pick sides, read on to learn who exactly Masvidal is and what we can expect from his fight on Saturday.
Masvidal hails from Miami, FL, where he got his start street fighting at a young age. After dropping out of school, he decided to take his talent elsewhere and train professionally in mixed martial arts. He signed a deal with UFC in 2013 and came out the decisive victor in his debut against Tim Means. The 35-year-old fighter has become especially well-known in the league as a sharp boxer with an impressive height and lethal jab.
- Height: 5′ 11″
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Age: 35 (11/12/1984)
- Nickname: Gamebred
- Stance: Orthodox
- Wins: 35
- Losses: 13
- Draws: 0
After a brief hiatus in 2017, Masvidal came back stronger than ever in his 2019 match against Darren Till. In a remarkable recovery after a shaky first round, Masvidal managed to knockout Till in the second. However, Masvidal’s next fight proved even more impressive, in which he went toe-to-toe with former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren and knocked him out just moments after the bell — the fastest knockout in the history of the UFC. In his most recent and high-profile fight, Masvidal faced off against Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 244. He came out victorious after dominating Diaz for three rounds, and the UFC awarded him the inaugural ‘BMF’ Title.
With a much sleeker record of 16 wins and only one loss under his belt, Kamaru Usman poses a real challenge for Masvidal. Coming in at 6’0″ with a reach of 76 inches, Usman holds a bit of leverage over Masvidal’s 5’11” stature and 74-inch reach. However, with both fighters weighing 170 pounds, it’s hard to predict who will best who. What will be most interesting to see unfold is how Usman’s signature wrestling style fares against Masvidal’s boxer technique. No matter the match’s outcome, one thing is for sure: Usman is the title’s defending champ, so he won’t bow to Masvidal without a vicious fight.
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