Jorge Masvidal vs. Kamaru Usman - 7/11/20 UFC 251 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Jorge Masvidal vs. Kamaru Usman - 7/11/20 UFC 251 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 11:45 PM (Yas Island Beach)

The Line: Jorge Masvidal +260 / Kamaru Usman -310 -- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal fight Saturday during UFC 251 at Yas Island Beach.

Kamaru Usman enters this fight with a 16-1 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by decision. Usman has won his last 15 fights and is coming off a December win over Colby Covington. Usman is averaging 4.60 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Usman is averaging 3.44 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Usman is coming off a highly impressive performance at UFC 245 that earned fight of the night honors. Usman showed he’s more than a grappler and wrestler, as he landed 175 total strikes and banged with a highly skilled stand up striker with power. So much for Usman being the boring fighter many consider him due to his usual takedown approach. Still, Usman is a takedown machine with a deep wrestling background, a black belt in BJJ and a quality ground and pound attack. Usman is a really gifted athlete who usually gets the fight where he wants it and can spend majority of the fight from the top position where he simply wears on his opponents and controls the fight from start to finish. It may not always be sexy for the viewing audience, but there’s no denying Usman is in control when he’s in the octagon. This will be Usman’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

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Jorge Masvidal enters this fight with a 35-13 record and has won 49 percent of his fights by decision. Masvidal has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a November win over Nate Diaz. Masvidal is averaging 4.33 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Masvidal is averaging 1.70 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 59 percent. Masvidal is coming off a dominating performance where he landed 114 total strikes and produced a takedown, eventually winning in the third round with a knockout via doctor stoppage. Some argue about the stoppage, but that was a clear Masvidal victory no matter if the fight continued or not. Masvidal is a striker at heart with a boxing background and fighting in backyards before he turned pro. Masvidal has very good footwork, has become a lot more patient when he attacks and has good variety to his strikes, gaining more creativity with experience. Masvidal is most known for his standup, but he’s also had great success with takedowns under the UFC banner and does have a wrestling history as well as submission grappling, so he’s far from a one-trick pony and is respectable on the ground if needed. Masvidal hasn’t been finished in over a decade, so the toughness is there and his cardio is probably one of the more underrated traits to his game. This will be Masvidal’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

There’s reason why Masvidal is a big underdog in this spot, as he’s fighting a grappling and wrestling machine in Usman on short rest. Less than a week to prepare for this fight, Masvidal is basically going into the octagon with no preparation and nobody would blame him if he does lose. However, Masvidal has a real good chance to win this fight as long as he keeps it on the feet. Masvidal’s power and boxing is up there with some of the best in the sport and he could do some serious damage. You also have to wonder if Usman is going to let pride takeover and want to fight Masvidal standing up after their little beef earlier in the year. Usman is a little stubborn and we saw how he fought against Colby, so maybe he repeats it here.

Either way, we’ve cashed a few times with Masvidal in the underdog role over the years. I’ll take a shot with these odds in what would be probably the most impressive win of the year if he pulls this off. 

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Randy’s Pick Jorge Masvidal +260

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.