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UFC 251 fight card primer: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

Watch UFC 251 this weekend and catch all your coverage right here on Bloody Elbow.

In the main event of UFC 251, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1 UFC, 10-0 UFC) will attempt to make the first defense of his title against fan favorite and ‘BMF’ champion Jorge Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 10-6 UFC). UFC 251 is the first of four events to take place on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, July 11th. The main card will start with a fight time of 11:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass and ESPN+.

How do these two stack up?

Usman: 33 years old | 6’0” | 76” reach
Masvidal: 35 years old | 5’11” | 74” reach

How did these two get here?

Usman: W - Colby Covington (TKO) W - Tyron Woodley (DEC) W - Rafael Dos Anjos (DEC)
Masvidal: W - Nate Diaz (TKO) W - Ben Askren (KO) W - Darren Till (KO)

UFC 251

What have these two done recently?

It was always clear from his time on The Ultimate Fighter that Kamaru Usman would be a contender in the 170-pound division. Four years after winning the series, Usman is now the welterweight champion and has continued to look better each time he steps foot in the octagon. Defeating the likes of Demian Maia and Rafael Dos Anjos on his way to the title, Usman made the first defence of his belt against Colby Covington last December after winning it against Tyron Woodley.

For those who have watched MMA for a long time, Jorge Masvidal has always been an overlooked fighter. Most of his losses only come by way of close split decisions, and this was all it took to cause a career resurgence in ‘Gamebred’. Starting with highlight-reel KO’s against Darren Till and Ben Askren, Masvidal’s popularity sky rocketed and led to him winning the ‘BMF’ belt against Nate Diaz last November. The 35-year-old has the chance to win his first ever UFC title against Usman.

Why should you care?

Despite taking the fight on short-notice, Masvidal has been training for weeks so should be in fighting shape.