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Sport UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal predictions, odds, picks: Best bets on the fight card from top-rated MMA expert

21:32  09 july  2020
21:32  09 july  2020 Source:   cbssports.com

Reports: Burns out of UFC 251, Masvidal could replace

  Reports: Burns out of UFC 251, Masvidal could replace Reports: Burns out of UFC 251, Masvidal could replaceLater Saturday, ESPN reported that while Burns will not fight welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC's Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, there are "active negotiations" to book Usman and Jorge Masvidal as the new main event.

Kamaru Usman has never lost a UFC bout in 10 appearances and appears positioned for a long run as welterweight champion. Even so, he has struggled to gain popularity among MMA fans, media and even other fighters. The champion knows his critics will have no choice but to respect him if he keeps winning, and he gets another opportunity on Saturday in the main event of UFC 251 with a title defense against fan favorite Jorge Masvidal. Their clash tops the much-anticipated UFC 251 fight card at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The main UFC 251 card is set for 10 p.m. ET.

Jorge Masvidal with his hand on his face © Provided by CBS Sports

Usman has vowed to settle his ongoing beef with Masvidal with a dominant performance, while the third-ranked challenger has predicted a stoppage win of his own. Usman is a -260 favorite (risk $260 to win $100), while Masvidal is priced at +210 in the latest UFC 251 odds from William Hill. In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski (-240) defends his featherweight title against former champion Max Holloway (+200). Before finalizing your UFC 251 picks, make sure you check out what SportsLine MMA expert Brandon Wise has to say.

Report: Usman, Masvidal agree to UFC 251 title fight

  Report: Usman, Masvidal agree to UFC 251 title fight Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal have agreed to a fight for the welterweight championship at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi, ESPN's Ariel Helwani reports. The fighters must pass a COVID-19 test before they can travel to the event. Both combatants flew into Las Vegas on Sunday, where fighters on the UFC 251 card are being transported to Abu Dhabi. Coronavirus tests are administered in Las Vegas, and fighters must quarantine while awaiting results. Usman wasThe fighters must pass a COVID-19 test before they can travel to the event.

A CBS Sports editor specializing in MMA, Wise has been dissecting the sport for more than five years. He specializes in picking main-card fights for UFC, which has enabled him to be profitable every year. Wise went a perfect 5-0 at UFC 239 and was 4-1 at both UFC 245 and UFC 249. He also nailed Khabib Nurmagomedov's destruction of Conor McGregor in 2018, Stipe Miocic's upset of Daniel Cormier, Holloway's downfall in 2019 and Justin Gaethje's TKO victory over Tony Ferguson in May.

Across UFC 247, UFC 248, UFC 249 and UFC 250, Wise went 14-6 with his main-card picks, posting a winning record on every card and returning healthy profits for anyone following them. Since the UFC returned following a two-month period of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has gone 25-12 - including 4-1 at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Hooker less than two weeks ago - while nailing the method of victory 16 times. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Masvidal happy with Usman deal: 'I get to break this guy's face and get paid'

  Masvidal happy with Usman deal: 'I get to break this guy's face and get paid' The UFC officially announced Jorge Masvidal as the challenger to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on Monday, and the "BMF" titleholder is happy with his short-notice payday for the main event at UFC 251. "I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I got very, very close to it," Masvidal told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday. He added: "I'm happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy's face and get paid for it. But one thing I'm not"I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but I got very, very close to it," Masvidal told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday.

Now with UFC 251 fast approaching, Wise has carefully studied every main-card matchup and released his selections. Those picks are available at SportsLine.

Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal preview

Usman (16-1) is riding a 15-fight winning streak that began in December 2013, less than seven months after he submitted against Jose Caceres for the lone loss of his professional career. The 33-year-old Nigerian is 3-0 in title fights after recording a technical knockout against Colby Covington at UFC 245 on Dec. 14 in the first defense of the welterweight crown.

The champion owns an 11-0 record since joining the UFC in 2015 and has been the favorite in all but one of those bouts, with the exception being his upset victory over Tyron Woodley for the title. That trend largely comes as a result of Usman's dominant wrestling ability, as he holds the UFC record for bottom position time at a mere two seconds.

Mike Brown tests positive for COVID-19, unable to corner Jorge Masvidal against Kamaru Usman

  Mike Brown tests positive for COVID-19, unable to corner Jorge Masvidal against Kamaru Usman Several coaches and fighters from Jorge Masvidal's team have tested positive for COVID-19, including his longtime coach, Mike Brown.After stepping in to fight Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight championship on less than a week's notice and having to shed 20 pounds within that timeframe, Masvidal was dealt another blow when his coach, Mike Brown, tested positive for COVID-19. Brown will be unable to corner Masvidal when he gets his first crack at UFC gold Saturday.

Masvidal (35-13) is ranked third in the welterweight division and has scored a knockout in his last five victories, including a TKO win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244 last November. The 35-year-old native of Miami, who registered the fastest KO in UFC history when he flattened Ben Askren with a flying knee five seconds into their fight at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019, has not fought for a title since defeating Nuri Shakir in June 2006 for the vacant Absolute Fighting Championships welterweight belt. You can see Wise's complete Usman vs. Masvidal picks here.

Top UFC 251 predictions

We'll reveal one of Wise's UFC 251 main-card predictions here: He is backing Petr Yan (-240) to get a stoppage victory against Jose Aldo (+200) in their clash for the vacant bantamweight championship.

Aldo (28-6) was once regarded as one of the most feared champions in UFC history. The 33-year-old Brazilian memorably made seven successful featherweight title defenses before getting knocked out in 13 seconds by Conor McGregor in December 2015. He's just 3-4 in seven bouts since, including a pair of losses to former champion Max Holloway.  Aldo received a title shot despite a controversial decision loss to top-ranked Marlon Moraes in December of last year. He is now ranked No. 6 in the division.

UFC 251 'Embedded,' No. 4: Quarantine's over

  UFC 251 'Embedded,' No. 4: Quarantine's over The UFC returns after a one-week break on Saturday with UFC 251, and the promotion’s popular “Embedded” series is back to help build the excitement ahead of the action. UFC 251 takes place in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following…UFC 251 takes place in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

The third-ranked Yan has appeared to be on a collision course with stardom since making his UFC debut in June 2018. The Russian fighter has soared up the UFC rankings behind a 6-0 run with the promotion that includes a knockout win over UFC icon Uriah Faber in his last bout.

"Aldo still shows flashes of the fighter of old, and he could play spoiler in a division brimming with elite fighters who are ready to take the crown," Wise told SportsLine. "But I just can't see him getting past Yan."

How to make UFC 251 picks

Wise also has strong picks for Usman vs. Masvidal and every other bout on the main UFC 251 card. He's also backing one fighter who has "the perfect game plan." You can only see those UFC 251 picks here.

Who wins Usman vs. Masvidal at UFC 251? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on the main UFC 251 card, all from the accomplished expert who has been profitable for five straight years, and find out.

UFC 251 odds for main card

Kamaru Usman (-260) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+210)

Alexander Volkanovski (-240) vs. Max Holloway (+200)

Petr Yan (-240) vs. Jose Aldo (+200)

Jessica Andrade (+170) vs. Rose Namajunas (-200)

Amanda Ribas (-800) vs. Paige VanZant (+550)

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige odds, predictions: MMA insider lists surprising fight card picks .
Kyle Marley has nailed 13 straight UFC main event picks and just revealed his Ige vs. Kattar predictions.Kattar is a -310 favorite (risk $310 to win $100), while Ige is a +250 underdog in the latest Kattar vs. Ige odds from William Hill. In the co-main event, Tim Elliott (-125) takes on Ryan Benoit (+105) in a flyweight fight. Before making your UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.

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