UFC 251 news: Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal simulated ahead of welterweight clash

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So it is now official. Subject to COVID-19 testing, Jorge Masvidal has agreed to step up and take on the welterweight champion Kamaru Usman with just six days' notice on Dana White’s fight island at UFC 251.

This was following the belated withdrawal of the Brazilian fighter Gilbert Burns, who had recently beat former champion Tyron Woodley.

Burns, however, unfortunately tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This forced White to take rapid action in a bid to salvage Usman’s presence on the UFC 251 card and subsequently the match between the current welterweight champion and the popular fighter Masvidal.

Despite the rather short preparation time that Masvidal has for the fight, YouTube Mixed Martial Arts channel Ricky J Sports believes this will in fact be a better main event than the one previously made.

Unable to contain his excitement, Ricky J Sports decided to put together a video game simulation to attempt to predict what would actually happen in the fight.

At the start of the video, Ricky J Sports said: “My heart is with Masvidal. I really hope he wins but my money is ultimately going to be with Usman just because of his ability to throw out good striking and the fact that he has great stamina.

“Ultimately, however, his ability to apply his wrestling game is what is going to win him the fight. I reckon Usman will grind down Masvidal to win by decision."

This was successfully demonstrated in the AI version of the fight where Usman was seen wearing down Masvidal on the floor by applying the crucifix position and not allowing him to get up.

Ricky J Sports said: “The key for Masvidal is to try and find someway of preventing those crazy takedowns from Usman. The danger for the reigning welterweight champion, however, is thinking that his striking is in fact better than Masvidal’s.”

The simulated fight ultimately ended up going five rounds with one mistake from Masvidal, a missed high kick, providing costly and enabling Usman to apply a North South choke, which earned him the submission.

This showed the potential vulnerability that the American has in terms of coming up against wrestling manoeuvres that may prove costly when coming up against Usman on July 11 at UFC 251.

What do you think? Does Masvidal have what it takes to win the welterweight title or will Usman retain the belt?

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