The verdicts in and Fight Island has materialized into a reality with some of the biggest names in the UFC booking one-way flights to ply their trade on the exclusive Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Dana White spilled the beans about the whereabouts of Fight Island early June, and with the location finalized, it seems that Kamara Usman and Gilbert Burns have more of an idea on what to pack in their suitcase for the upcoming, inaugural UFC 251 main event.
With the UFC Apex pioneering fights of late, it is time for the MMA facility to take a back seat and let the beating sun of Abu Dhabi host one of the most talked-about UFC locations since the sport established, Fight Island. The UFC has hosted a myriad of mouth-watering fights over the last three months, including last weekend’s epic slugfest between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker, in which Poirier ultimately triumphed on points. UFC welterweight champion Kamara Usman descends on to Fight Island ready to do battle against a dangerous Gilbert Burns on July 11th.
The fight cards of late have provided a plethora of entertainment and the opening to Fight Island has not disappointed, with Alexander Volkanovski going toe-to-toe with Max Holloway in the Featherweight Co-Main event and Petr Yan battling it out with Jose Aldo for the vacant Bantamweight title. Fight Island is proving immediately to be an essential UFC battleground for president Dana White’s faithful contingents, and UFC 251 will be spearheading the first theatre of UFC war on the beaches Abu Dhabi. Bet Today USA has you covered with all the current UFC predictions, UFC parlay calculator odds, and some exciting UFC picks.
The main welterweight event is here and two battle-hardened warriors will fight it out for welterweight glory, in the first Octagon erected on Yas Island’s beach. Kamara “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman will be defending his coveted welterweight strap against the menacing Gilbert Burns in UFC 251’s main event of the evening.
UFC 251 was originally supposed to take place in Perth, Australia, but due to ongoing health situation, the bout had to be shelved. Usman has an outstanding fight record, boasting 16-1 and 11-0 in the UFC. The only blemish on the Nigerian born fighter’s fight card is a career loss to Jose Caceres via submission early on in the wrestler’s career, but since the welterweight champion has been riding an incredible 15-win fight streak.
Usman last defended his strap against arch-rival Colby Covington. The build-up to Usman Vs. Covington UFC 245 was as exciting out of the Octagon as it was in it, with the bout unfolding into a 5-round thriller. Usman ultimately prevailed, vanquishing “Chaos” with a flurry of punches in the 5th round forcing ref Mark Goddard to call the bout and send the Trump-supporting fighter packing.
Gilbert Burns’ record is 19-3, carving out a 6-fight win streak against some formidable fighters. Brazilian brawler Burns has been busy this year, with the Usman title challenge being his third time in the Octagon in 2020. Burns dismantled Tyron Woodley last May via unanimous decision, adding another feather to his cap and earning him the welterweight title shot against Usman.
Usman’s fight style is predominantly striking but he has an almost complete fight game hidden in his locker. Usman likes the long game, he is known to grind his opponents down and utilizes the Octagon fence to deliver the final blow. Once the Nigerian has his opponent against the fence, he takes advantage of his superior gas tank and reverts to his wrestling strengths on the floor.
Usman’s approach is balanced, possessing a strong defensive game spliced with a strong offensive game. Usman’s strategy will be to strike his opponent to the fence, then opt for the takedown while exhausting his foe.
Burns has a similar fight style compared to Usman, the 33-year-old enjoys meeting his opponent in the 5th round. 14 of the Brazilian’s wins have come via finishes, so don’t be surprised if you see “Durinho” opting for a deadly finish. Even though Burns possesses a strong striking ability, Usman can output more and land more. Burns’ main strength is on the canvas and the Brazilian will rely on a successful takedown and his strength to thwart the champion.
Usman to win via points
Max Holloway is preparing to lock horns with Alexander Volkanovski in the Co-Main event of the evening and this looks to be one not to miss. Both fighters have chalked up some tantalizing performances of late and will be looking ahead to throw their all into this featherweight showdown.
Holloway’s last decision win was against Frankie Edgar in his third title defense. Holloway has tussled with Volkanovski before and lost, so this contest the Hawaiian native might mix up his game plan.
Max Holloway is a complex UFC fighter, with phenomenal boxing strengths, he can box from range and up close and personal. The 28-year-old also owns powerful spinning back kicks which can finish a fight. What “Blessed” really excels in is his output, the Hawaiian is a volume striker, delivering 400 strikes per fight in his last 4 fights. This volume can break an opponent’s rhythm and circumvent them from reverting to their fight plan. Max’s volume is his ace in the pack and can turn a fight on its head with his overwhelming pressure. The chink in Holloway’s armor is his floor game and the 28-year-old will avoid fighting on the canvas. The irony in Holloway’s weakness is that he has a very high takedown defensive game.
Volkanovski, on the other hand, is a kickboxing wrestler. The Australian is on a colossal 18-fight win streak and seems to be the man to beat on the featherweight circuit. The 31-year-old will want to ply his trade on the floor and wrestle Holloway, a similar ground game as Khabib Nurmagomedov. Alex is as well-equipped on his feet, throwing a high-volume strike game also. The featherweight might not throw as much volume as Holloway, but he makes up for the amount thrown by the amount landed. What the Australian is known for is his right overhand, which he uses as his main offensive weapon to disarm and disable an opponent.
Volkanovski to win via Unanimous Decision
Petr Yan and Jose Aldo are preparing to face off for the vacant bantamweight strap which Henry Cejudo vacated at UFC 249. With Cejudo vacating the bantamweight throne, both Yan and Aldo will relish the chance to claim 135-pound glory in this highly anticipated title bout.
Petr Yan is undefeated since he started to represent the UFC banner and his last three wins have come against John Dodson, Jamie Rivera, and Urijah Faber. The Russian is riding a 6 fight-streak win wave and will be wanting to add to his supremacy reign.
Jose Aldo has stood the test of time in the UFC and has been around as long as the Octagon walls have been standing. Aldo’s move down to bantamweight from featherweight was doubted but the Brazilian has proved his detractors wrong with a wonderful effort against Marlon Moraes. Aldo has striking in his blood and opts for powerful striking over technical wrestling. Yan is the overwhelming favorite in this contest, but with Aldo’s wealth of experience, you can never write the 33-year-old off.
Aldo to win via TKO
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