Masvidal after defeating Nate Diaz.
Josh Hedges / Getty Images
UFC 251 is getting more exciting than we first thought. And because of COVID-19, it will be a unique battle in UFC history.
Most assumed the welterweight title would no longer be at stake this Saturday after Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the UFC 251 title fight against Kamaru Usman.
The fight will continue thanks to Jorge Masvidal, who is perhaps the UFC's best-known welterweight.
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Masvidal has officially passed a mandatory COVID-19 test, so now the man they call Street Jesus – who– Will replace Gilbert Burns and compete against Usman in the main UFC 251 event.
Now all the fighters have increased and we can start.
This is great news for fans. Usman against Masvidal is the fight most people ever wanted to see. Earlier negotiations between UFC boss Dana White and Masvidal had failed and forced White to go with Burns instead, but desperate times require desperate action, and it looks like White and Masvidal closed the deal in the 11th hour. This blockbuster title fight is now a breeze.
Masvidal is currently one of the most charismatic and well-known fighters of the UFC, so this should be a biggie. As a style match, it's fascinating. Masvidal is a forward with a first-rate defense. Usman is a gritty wrestler with a great gas tank and an evolving kick boxing game. Since this is a short-term fight for Masvidal, Usman will be the betting favorite – but do you remember what happened when Masvidal last played a crunchy wrestler?
You'd be crazy if you copied Masvidal off here.
But an interesting fold from today: Masvidal head coach Mike Brown has just tested positive for COVID-19. I'm not sure how that will affect the fight, but it's worth mentioning.
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This is how you see UFC 251
This year, the UFC entered into a new partnership with ESPN. This is good news for UFC and the expansion of MMA sport, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you are one of the UFC fans who want to see UFC live in the USA.
If you want to know how to see UFC 251 in the US, you can only find the fight night through ESPN Plus on PPV. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but according to the ESPN website, there are options here to watch UFC on ESPN.
- Existing annual ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $ 65.
- Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers can either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $ 85, or purchase the option to track the UFC event on PPV for $ 65 themselves.
- New ESPN Plus subscribers can purchase a package of a UFC PPV (streaming in HD) event and an annual recurring ESPN Plus subscription for USD 85. The annual ESPN Plus ESPN subscription is automatically renewed after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of the automatic renewal.
You can follow all of the steps above at the link below.
- The main card starts on July 11th at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT)
- The preliminary rounds start on July 11th at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
- The early rounds begin on July 11th at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT)
- The main card begins on July 12th at 3 a.m.
- The preliminary rounds start on July 12th at 1 a.m.
- The early rounds begin on July 12th at 11 p.m. BST
- The main card starts on July 12th at 12 noon. AEDT
- The preliminary rounds begin on July 12th at 10 a.m. AEDT
- The early preliminaries begin on July 12th at 8 a.m. AEDT
- Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Alexander Volkanovski against Max Holloway
- Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo
- Jéssica Andrade against Rose Namajunas
- Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
- Volkan Oezdemir against Jiri Prochazka
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos v Muslim Salikhov
- Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry
- Leonardo Santos against Roman Bogatov
Early preparations (on UFC Fight Pass)
- Marcin Tybura against Alexandr Romanov
- Raulian Paiva against Zhalgas Zhumagulov
- Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo
- Martin Day vs. Davey Grant
What about the undercard?
It's awesome. The main map in particular is spectacular and contains three title fights. Max Holloway tries to win back his featherweight crown against current champion Alexander Volkanovski. Absolute blast. Petr Yan against Jose Aldo may not be the bantamweight title fight most MMA experts wanted, but it's a great match with two of the UFC's best strikers.
We also see the return of former Queen Rose Namajunas in straw weight. Man. This is a UFC card for eternity and you would be crazy to miss it.