UFC 251 :The very first order of business is that a pay-per-view card with a name triple-header containing Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal in the main event.
Because Of a set of unfortunate events, the promotion is placing about the welterweight title fight everyone wished to see on short notice. Gilbert Burns was initially slated to be Usman’s second title defense, but a favorable COVID-19 test placed him to the sideline and gave Masvidal the opening to step in on six days’ notice.
The co-main occasion features a featherweight title rematch as Alexander Volkanovski will change roles and defend his belt against Max Holloway from the sequel to the former’s unanimous decision win at UFC 245.
The lead-in to that bout will be a struggle between Henry Cejudo’s retirement has abandoned the class without a champion, and the UFC has tabbed both as the best contenders.
Here’s what the whole card looks like along with some rapid predictions and what to watch for on every battle on the principal card.
The Key to the battle is going to be space. Jorge Masvidal will have to make it. During his careeer, he’s struggled with high quality wrestlers, and that is exactly what he’s facing in the current champion.
It starts with Masvidal’s cage awareness. As much as possible, he wants to struggle in the middle of the crate and steer clear of the fence. If Usman can back him to the fence, then it can only lead to a clinch or a outright takedown.
If Masvidal can cut angles to maintain the battle in the open, he’ll get a better chance to shield takedowns and turn this fight into the stand-up brawl he needs so as to win.
Prediction: Usman via decision.
Volkanovski vs. Holloway
What to Watch ForWho Leads the Dance
Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway could be carbon copies of one another at times. Both want to drown their competition in volume and normally keep the fight standing.
In the first fight, Volkanovski Dominated the early rounds by throwing leg strikes that threw Holloway out of rhythm and away from his game.
When Holloway adjusted to That in the later rounds, the struggle turned into much closer. He didn’t definitively prove he can win rounds, but he did make the battle more competitive. He’s going to need to do this early on when he wants to avenge his loss.
Prediction: Volkanovski through decision.
Things to Watch For: Aldo’s Counterpunching
At This stage in their careers, Petr Yan is going to carry a great deal of benefits. For starters, Aldo hasn’t won a fight in this weight class. Yan is the quicker, more athletic fighter also comes in having a great deal of assurance with no declines in the UFC.
Of the greatest lighter weight fighters of all-time. That version of Aldo is gonethough. What is left is a crafty counterpuncher. And that’s the most apparent path of success for the future Hall of Famer.
Yan Sports a perfect record in the UFC, but he’s shown that counterpunchers could have some success against him. Jimmie Rivera managed to land more substantial strikes than Yan in a unanimous decision loss since he was able to counter him regularly.
That is important to keep an eye on as Yan will require to Proceed with caution contrary to Aldo. Still, it’s hard to go against all the physical benefits the younger fighter gets in such a case.
Prediction: Yan through second-round TKO.
Andrade vs. Namajunas
Things to Watch For: Namajunas’ Risk Management
When Rose Namajunas is dialed in, there are few women more talented in the strawweight branch. The problem is, that hasn’t always been the case for her, and things can go sideways quickly when she is not.
Case-in-point, Her first fight against Jessica Andrade was going perfectly until she let go of her kimura clasp and was immediately slammed to the ground and knocked out. Andrade is a powerful fighter with good wrestling. Getting in that place was a lack of focus from Thug Rose.
With Time off and hopefully a renewed sense of focus that type of lapse should not happen again. Namajunas is the faster more agile fighter and should be able to apply a stick-and-move game program that would allow her to win this battle easily.
If she does not maintain her Focus and keep out of bad positions, we could see a repeat of the first fight. For now, there’s no reason to doubt that she is prepared to return to action and struggle to her potential.
Prediction: Namajunas through third-round TKO.
Ribas vs. VanZant
As The odds will indicate, this isn’t predicted to be an aggressive struggle. Amanda Ribas has all the hallmarks of a future winner and Paige VanZant could be on her way out as this is the final fight in her contract.
Striker and can be tough. When this battle is off the floor, she stands a chance of hanging out there long enough to land something large. Where she does not possess a shot is if the fight goes to the ground.
PVZ May have won her last fight by submission, but Ribas is the greater grappler overall and has a entry match of her (three of her nine wins are by entry ). Ribas holds the advantage just about anywhere this battle goes.
If she can take the fight in the early moments, she will live up to the hype and put her off early.