UFC 251: Usman v Masvidal

Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal will stand toe-to-toe for the second time when the pair clash at UFC 261 this Saturday, April 24. UFC 261 features three title fights and will stream exclusively on ESPN+ PPV (order here).

Masvidal gets his rematch against the champion despite not competing since losing a clear unanimous decision to Usman in July last year. Strangely, it was Usman who called for the Masvidal rematch and it’s clear that the dominant welterweight champion is still interested in this money fight for as long as Masvidal remains a draw.

Masvidal has a longer camp this time and will have more time to prepare for the champion. At UFC 251, Masvidal had just six days to cut weight and get ready for the fight after Gilbert Burns withdrew in the final days leading up to the event.

But will Usman vs. Masvidal be different this time? Or will it be a repeat of their five-round clash at UFC 251?

In this UFC 261 predictions video, Patrick Auger, Matthew Wells, and Drake Riggs answer those questions and more.

Usman vs. Masvidal predictions

Watch our full video on YouTube for our complete analysis and predictions before UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal.

Matthew Wells

“Kamaru Usman is going to roll yet again. That’s my prediction and I’m sticking to it. I don’t care if Masvidal had three years to train for this fight, he’s not better than Kamaru Usman in any aspect of fighting. That’s just the way it is. Yeah, he’s been around the block for forever and he’s been in there against everybody and anybody, but last time I checked Kamaru Usman only has 1 loss on his record and Masvidal has 14.

“Kamaru is legitimately just that guy in the welterweight division, he’s dominant, he’s getting better every time we see him, as well, which is scary for his opponents. Not to mention, he’s got this aura of confidence that we haven’t really seen from anyone else in recent years outside of maybe Ronda when she was on a run, I’d say. Ronda had that swag of no one is touching me and Kamaru has kind of got that and he’s still getting better.”

– Picking Kamaru Usman to win by decision

Drake Riggs

“Hard to disagree with that [Matthew’s comments]. Kamaru is a guy, one of those rare fighters, at least for me, that you see them at an early point in their career and you feel very confident that they’ll become champion… This guy has it. You can just tell with some people and now he’s proven it.

“He’s beginning to be impossibly well-rounded. While he’s still well-rounded, he has a very obvious strength in his wrestling, grappling, and the way he pressures you. But the guy can strike too, now, the Gilbert Burns fight is the most recent example. As a champion, he’s getting better with each fight and he was already good before he was champion.

“I don’t see how this fight could go differently for Jorge Masvidal. I think it’ll be damage absorbed throughout the fight where Usman is beating him up and maybe get a TKO ground and pound finish…”

– Picking Kamaru Usman to win by TKO

Patrick Auger

“My favorite thing about this is that it’s not even full-camp Masvidal. This fight was made just five weeks out while a typical fight camp is 8-10 weeks. This isn’t even full-camp Masvidal.

“He has the potential to lose, albeit small, if he tries to strike too much. I think that’s the one thing where if he tries to stand and trade with Masvidal it gives Masvidal an opening to land a big shot or do his thing to actually hurt Kamaru and put him out. That’s the only way I can see him losing this.

“If he sticks to the same game plan as last time and focuses on his wrestling, uses the jab that is now even more perfected to set up his takedowns, this is an easy 50-43, 50-41 decision anywhere in that range. It’ll be 10-8’s and maybe 10-7’s.

“It should be a clear cut gameplan for Usman and he should be able to stick to it, but if he tries to strike too much… it gives Masvidal an opening.”

– Picking Kamaru Usman to win by decision

What is your Usman vs. Masvidal prediction? Let us know your UFC 261 picks in the comments section below.

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