Check out UFC 261 tips for the main event – the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal for the UFC Welterweight Championship.
- Usman – 18-1-0 (8 by KO/TKO)
- Masvidal – 35-14 (16 by KO)
- Usman – defeated Gilbert Burns @ UFC 258 (Rd 3 TKO)
- Masvidal – defeated by Usman @ UFC 251 (Rd 5 Decision)
Analysis: Jorge Masvidal receives an opportunity to avenge his loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 last July – despite not having fought since.
Usman, meanwhile, gears up for his fourth UFC Welterweight Championship defence as he aims to extend his division-record winning streak.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ remains undefeated in 13 fights since joining the UFC in 2015. Usman won a comprehensive unanimous decision at UFC 251 – his wrestling, ground game and close-quarters punching paved the way for a dominant victory. But Miami native Masvidal had just six days to prepare after Gilbert Burns pulled out of the title challenge.
Masvidal won his previous three fights against Darren Till (Rd 2 KO), recent Jake Paul boxing victim Ben Askren (flying knee KO after just five seconds) and Nate Diaz (Rd 3 TKO after doctor stoppage).
He has had a much longer five-week camp to prepare for his second shot at Usman. But that is still up to half as long as a typical fight camp.
"Give me six weeks man."
The words @GamebredFighter said to Dana White after UFC 251. Now Kamaru Usman has given him a full camp and another shot. How will it play out?
(🎥 UFC Countdown) pic.twitter.com/L8JhBxK2MV
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) April 19, 2021
Usman belatedly fought Burns at UFC 258 in February, winning by third-round TKO. He was rocked early but regained his composure to record yet another highly impressive win.
The short turnaround between fights indicates Usman is in peak condition physically and mentally, eager to get back in the octagon while his skills are at their sharpest.
— E (@iamOkon) February 14, 2021
This could be the 36-year-old Masvidal’s last shot at the belt that has eluded him throughout an eight-year tenure in the UFC. But the fact remains Usman is the superior fighter in every facet, rarely giving his opponent an opening.
Expect Usman to approach this assignment as he did the first against Masvidal. A ground-and-pound TKO victory is a possibility, but only one of Masvidal’s 14 career losses came via KO/TKO. Wrestling, takedowns and jabs will carry him to another W, likely by decision.