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UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal predictions

Jorge Masvidal has a chance to pull off an upset of a generation at UFC 251 on Saturday, July 11 at Fight Island.

Crossfire Vault – The UFC 251 Notebook

Masvidal (35-13-0), who grew up fighting in the streets of Miami alongside the late Kimbo Slice, has increased his pay grade for the fight to almost what he wanted and is taking the fight on less than a week’s notice to take on welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1-0).

Our friends at MyBookie have you covered for all of the odds of this bettor’s dream matchup.

A win over Usman Saturday would catapult Masvidal’s legend into astronomical levels.

Meanwhile, Usman, who defended the belt against a tough Colby Covington in his last bout, has other ideas.

Stopping “GameBred” is a chance for “The Nigerian Nightmare” to put some icing on his dominant title reign in the division. Let’s not forget that Usman is also taking the fight on less than a week’s notice since original opponent Gilbert Burns pulled out with a positive COVID-19 test.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC 251 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)

DAVEY GRANT (11-4-0) VS. MARTIN DAY (8-3-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Day had the UFC jitters in his previous debut fight and he should be better, but he’s facing a guy with a lot of experience in Grant. Grant should be able to get Day to the ground and get the tap.

Andrews Prediction: Davey Grant via submission

KAROL ROSA (12-3-0) VS. VANESSA MELO (10-7-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Melo is a solid fighter, but Rosa will edge out the decision.

Andrews Prediction: Karol Rosa via UD

ZHALGAS ZHUMAGULOV (13-3-0) VS. RULIAN PAIVA (19-3-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Both guys can grind out a win here. Paiva is from Team Alpha Male, which I like, but Zhumagulov seems better equipped to grind things out if he can avoid the big strike.

Andrews Prediction: Zhalgas Zhumagulov via UD

MARCIN TYBURA (18-6-0) VS. MAXIM GRISHIN (30-7-2)

UFC 251

Andrews: Grishin did well in the PFL but he’s making his octagon debut at 36 years old. Tybura is the bigger guy and I expect him to finish Maxim.

Andrews Prediction: Marcin Tybura via TKO

UFC 251 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)

LEONARDO SANTOS (17-3-1) VS. ROMAN BOGATOV (10-0-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Bogatov is making his debut. He is undefeated, but with no octagon experience I have to go with the steady acumen of Santos, who is undefeated in the UFC.

Andrews Prediction: Leonardo Santos via UD

MAKWAN AMIRKHANI (15-4-0) VS. DANNY HENRY (12-3-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: This is a good fight. Have to go with Danny Henry getting the hard-fought decision.

Andrews Prediction: Danny Henry via UD

ELIZEU ZALESKI DOS SANTOS (22-6-0) VS. MUSLIM SALIKHOV (16-2-0)

UFC 251

Andrews:  Another good fight with two finishers. Going with Salikhov trying to make Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov proud.

Andrews Prediction: Muslim Salikov via TKO

VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (17-4-0) VS. JIRI PROCHAZKA (26-3-1)

UFC 251

Andrews: I value UFC experience almost always and although Jiri has a sparkling record and finish rate, he has never fought in the UFC. Meanwhile, Oezdemir has fought for the belt. Oezdemir just needs to shutdown the headkicks and strikes of Jiri.

Andrews Prediction: Volkan Oezdemir via TKO

MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)

PAIGE VANZANT (8-4-0) VS. AMANDA RIBAS (9-1-0) 

UFC 251

Andrews: If I were wagering on this bout, I would take the points on 12 Gauge as they are very enticing as his as +685 I saw. But I still think Ribas will take it despite VanZant’s determination to show her worth.

Andrews Prediction: Amanda Ribas via UD

JESSICA ANDRADE (20-7-0) VS. ROSE NAMAJUNAS (8-4-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Last time, Rose made a mistake and Jessica capitalized. This time, Rose will not make that mistake and finish the fight instead.

Andrews Prediction: Rose Namajunas via TKO

PETR YAN (14-1-0) VS. JOSE ALDO (28-6-0) 

UFC 251

Andrews: Jose Aldo has been the king for a long time, but finally it is time for others to shine. Aldo will not back down easily, but Yan will wear him down and then get the decision win.

Andrews Prediction: Petr Yan via UD

ALEXANDER VOLKANOVKSI (21-1-0) VS. MAX HOLLOWAY (21-5-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Alex has Max’s number. Unless Holloway can make an adjustment, it should be more of the same and a little more as Alex will try to finish Max this time.

Andrews Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski via submission

MAIN EVENT

KAMARU USMAN (16-1-0) VS. JORGE MASVIDAL (35-13-0)

UFC 251

Andrews: Usman needs to be smarter than he was against Covington. Don’t get drawn into a shining battle; use your advantage of wrestling to grind him out. Masvidal’s grappling is underrated, but he needs some good shots to affect Usman’s cardio. Frustrate Usman enough to use your superior striking.  In the end, Usman should emerge with the narrow decision.

Andrews Prediction: Kamaru Usman via UD

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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