Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 throwing the UFC 251 main event into convoluted chaos while leaving Dana White with a one-man fight. Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns were set to lock horns on the eagerly awaited Fight Island in the welterweight title bout, but Burns was forced to withdraw. Bet Today USA has all your UFC predictions, UFC picks and UFC parlay calculator odds to ramp up the excitement of UFC 251 on Fight Island.
Usman’s title defence was initially shelved and the Co-main event Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway was set to take the main stage. That was until Jorge Masvidal stepped in with less than a week’s notice to face the welterweight machine, Usman. Both fighters’ camps agreed on terms last Sunday and were jetted to Las Vegas for their initial COVID-19 screening, which they both passed.
Masvidal has accepted the main event card on which many believed he should have been on initially. “Gamebred” has chalked up a colossal 48 career fights without a title shot and Masvidal would serve as the fighter with the most MMA appearances without receiving one since UFC 251.
The inaugural Fight Island blockbuster fight card originally had Masvidal to face Usman, but the American challenger made noise over combat fighter’s pay and began a plethora of public and social protests. The 35-year-old fighter rose from journeyman status in 2019 to a genuine possible welterweight champion after a trio of stoppage victories which earned the brawler global fame and Fighter of the Year honours.
Among a myriad of hurdles the fighters have to undertake when landing in the United Arab Emirates, the two brawlers must abide by localised quarantine protocols in this last-minute scenario. In the event that one fighter tests positive for COVID-19 or fail to abide by local laws, the Co-Main event of featherweight champion Alexander Volknovski vs Max Holloway will be the curtain-raiser of the evening.
Usman Masvidal was the fight that was initially tipped and made sense as most fans of the welterweight division preferred this tangle over Burns. The fight also offered a potential dramatic contrast in styles with the mouth-watering, explosive striking of Masvidal against arguably the most rounded fighter the UFC has ever seen. Usman’s suffocating wrestling, striking ability and floor game Vs. Masvidal’s unbridled confidence and vicious dynamite hands set this up to be a blockbuster main card.
Usman to win via submission
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