UFC 261 Preview: Kamaru Usman – Jorge Masvidal 2

Daniel Cunningham
Dec 14, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kamaru Usman (red gloves) reacts before a bout against Colby Covington (not pictured) during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 261, we will see the rematch that the world has been buzzing about. Undisputed welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (18-1) will be defending his title against the UFC‘s BMF Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

As mentioned, this is the second time that these two men have locked horns. The first time came back at UFC 251. Going into 2020, the UFC was trying to book Usman against Masvidal. However, the fight never came together and eventually the promotion pulled the plug.

Gilbert Burns stepped in to fight Usman. However, after Burns tested positive for COVID, the UFC went back to Gamebred and he accepted the fight on six days notice. The six days notice is what this entire rematch is built around. Kamaru Usman won a lopsided decision last year against Masvidal.

However, since the fight was on short notice at UFC 251, there is a legit argument for Masvidal not being at his best. With those doubts, Kamaru Usman wanted to run this fight back to show the world he can beat Masvidal even with a full camp. At UFC 261 we will truly find out who is the better man.

UFC 261 Prediction

When these two first fought back at UFC 251, Kamaru Usman struggled to get Masvidal to the mat with his wrestling. However, his clinch control work is what won him the lopsided decision. Masvidal simply couldn’t keep Usman off of him.

If Masvidal is going to win the UFC welterweight title tomorrow, he has to keep this fight at distance. We’ve seen a ton of improvement from Usman in the striking game, however, I believe he’s going to be at a sizable disadvantage tomorrow night on the feet.

That said, I look for Usman to work off of his jab to force clinches and takedown attempts. If Usman can control Masvidal, he’s going to win this rematch. However, if Masvidal keeps this a striking matchup, that’s where things get truly interesting.

Ultimately, I think Masvidal is going to need a knockout to become UFC welterweight champion. I can’t see him winning a decision over Kamaru Usman. I believe that Usman is going to get the better of the grappling and even with a full camp, I don’t see Gamebred beating The Nigerian Nightmare tomorrow night.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman by Unanimous Decision