Jorge Masvidal has been ready for this chance since becoming a member of the UFC seven years in the past. Sadly, it took another person’s misfortune for him to obtain it. Within the wake of Gilbert Burns’ optimistic COVID-19 check, Masvidal lastly received his title shot and was chosen because the substitute to problem Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship in the principle occasion of UFC 251 on Saturday. The primary UFC 251 combat card from UFC Struggle Island within the United Arab Emirates is scheduled to start out at 10 p.m. ET. Masvidal has posted a 12-6 document within the UFC, with half of his victories coming by knockout, together with his final three fights.

Masvidal reportedly was introduced with two provides to face Usman at UFC 251 earlier than UFC president Dana White introduced in Burns, however turned down each of them, feeling the payout was inadequate. Usman is a -260 favourite at William Hill (threat $260 to win $100) after opening at -300, whereas Masvidal is a +210 underdog (threat $100 to win $210). Within the co-main occasion, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is a -220 favourite (threat $220 to win $100) in opposition to challenger Max Holloway (+180). Earlier than locking in your UFC 251 picks, be certain that to see the UFC predictions from SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley

The completed MMA analyst has been on fireplace, as he has hit 12 consecutive most important occasion winners. Final week, he advised SportsLine members to anticipate Dustin Poirier (-200) to submit a victory over Dan Hooker (+175) of their UFC Struggle Evening light-weight most important occasion. Marley mentioned Poirier would win not less than a 48-47 resolution if the combat went to the scorecards. That is precisely what occurred, as two judges had that actual rating whereas the third gave Poirier a 48-46 benefit en path to a unanimous resolution. 

Marley additionally known as a decisive victory two weeks in the past for Curtis Blaydes (-400) in opposition to Alexander Volkov (+320) of their heavyweight most important occasion. Anybody who has persistently adopted Marley’s UFC picks is manner up. 

Now, with UFC 251 approaching, Marley has fastidiously studied each matchup on the cardboard, recognized one of the best worth within the UFC 251 odds and launched his picks for each combat. These UFC 251 picks solely can be found right here.

Usman vs. Masvidal preview

Usman enters this matchup with a 15-fight profitable streak after efficiently defending his title with a technical-knockout victory over Colby Covington at UFC 245 on Dec. 14. With that win, the 33-year-old Nigerian improved his UFC document to 11-0 and his general profession mark to 16-1. 

The win over Covington marked the primary time in 5 fights and second in 10 that Usman didn’t need to go the space to be able to get his hand raised. A former NCAA Division II nationwide wrestling champion at 174 kilos, he averages 16 minutes, 40 seconds per combat, which ranks second in UFC welterweight historical past and seventh general within the promotion’s existence.

The third-ranked Masvidal (35-13) reportedly was supplied a shot at Usman’s belt when the UFC 251 card was being put collectively however was not happy with the proposed payout and declined. The 35-year-old, who’s a former Absolute Combating Championships welterweight titleholder, posted a TKO victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 244 final November, 4 months after ending Ben Askren with a flying knee 5 seconds into their combat at UFC 239 for the quickest knockout in UFC historical past. You’ll be able to see Marley’s full Usman vs. Masvidal picks right here.

High UFC 251 predictions for July 11

We’ll share considered one of Marley’s UFC 251 predictions right here: He’s backing Elizeu Dos Santos (+105) to attain an upset victory over Muslim Salikhov (-125) in a welterweight bout. 

Dos Santos (22-6) had his seven-fight profitable streak halted by Li Jingliang final August however bounced again to defeat Aleksei Kunchenko by way of unanimous resolution on March 14. The 33-year-old Brazilian, who additionally gained his first seven skilled fights, is a former Jungle Struggle welterweight champion who has recorded 14 of his 22 profession victories by knockout.

The 36-year-old Salikhov (16-2) additionally focuses on KOs, as 12 of his wins have been registered that manner. A former kickboxing champion who’s considered one of solely two non-Chinese language fighters ever to win the Wushu Sanda King’s Cup, the Russian has gained three in a row after having his 11-fight profitable streak snapped by Alex Garcia in his UFC debut in November 2017. 

“Dos Santos is the extra lively striker and is extra harmful on the bottom as properly,” Marley advised SportsLine.

The right way to make UFC 251 picks

Marley additionally has sturdy picks for Usman vs. Masvidal and each different bout on the UFC 251 card. He is additionally backing one combatant who’s “the extra highly effective man.” You’ll be able to see these UFC 251 picks solely at SportsLine. 

Who wins Masvidal vs. Usman at UFC 251? And the way precisely does every combat finish? Go to SportsLine now to get detailed picks on each combat on Saturday’s UFC 251 card, all from the completed skilled who’s up practically $21,000 and has nailed 12 straight most important occasions, and discover out.

UFC 251 odds (by way of William Hill US)

Kamaru Usman (-260) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+210)
Alexander Volkanovski (-220) vs. Max Holloway (+180)
Petr Yan (-230) vs. Jose Aldo (+190)
Jessica Andrade (+165) vs. Rose Namajunas (-195)
Amanda Ribas (-800) vs. Paige VanZant (+550)
Volkan Oezdemir (-165) vs. Jiri Prochazka (+140)
Elizeu Dos Santos (-105) vs. Muslim Salikhov (-115)
Makwan Amirkhani (-195) vs. Danny Henry (+165)
Leonardo Santos (-190) vs. Roman Bogatov (+160)
Marcin Tybura (-110) vs. Alexandr Romanov (-110)
Raulian Paiva (-195) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+165)
Karol Rosa (-220) vs. Vanessa Melo (+180)
Martin Day (-190) vs. Davey Grant (+160)