UFC 251 just got interesting. Real interesting.
After Gilbert Burns was removed from UFC 251’s main event title fight against current champ Kamaru Usman at the last minute, most assumed the welterweight title would no longer be on the line this Saturday. Not so.
Enter Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal has officially passed a mandatory COVID-19 test, so now the man they call Street Jesus — who — will be replacing Gilbert Burns and facing off against Usman in the main event of UFC 251.
Which is great news for fans. Usman vs. Masvidal is the fight most people wanted to see in the first place. Previous negotiations between UFC boss Dana White and Masvidal had gone awry, forcing White to go with Burns instead, but desperate times call for desperate measures and it looks like White and Masvidal got the deal done at the 11th hour. This blockbuster title fight is now a go.
Right now Masvidal is one of the most charismatic and high profile fighters in the UFC, so this one should be a biggie. As a style match-up it’s fascinating. Masvidal is a striker with world class take down defence. Usman is a grinding wrestler, with a great gas tank and an evolving kickboxing game. Given this is a short notice fight for Masvidal, Usman will be the betting favourite — but remember what happened the last time Masvidal faced off against a grinding wrestler?
You’d be crazy to write off Masvidal here.
How to watch UFC 251
This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. If you want to watch UFC live in the US especially.
In the US, if you’re looking to watch UFC 251, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site.
- Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $65.
- Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch UFC PPV for $65 by itself.
- New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $85. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will autorenew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of autorenewal.
You can do all of the above at the link below.
- The main card starts at June 6, 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT)
- The prelims start at June 6, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
- The early prelims start at June 6, 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT)
- The main card starts at June 7, 3 a.m. BST
- The prelims start at June 7, 1 a.m. BST
- The early prelims start at June 6, 11 p.m. BST
- The main card starts at June 7, 12 p.m. AEDT
- The prelims start at June 7, 10 a.m. AEDT
- The early prelims start at June 7, 8 a.m. AEDT
- Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway
- Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo
- Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
- Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
- Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov
- Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry
- Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov
Early Prelims (On UFC Fight Pass)
- Marcin Tybura vs. Alexandr Romanov
- Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
- Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo
- Martin Day vs. Davey Grant
What about the undercard?
Well it’s fantastic. The main card in particular is spectacular, packing three title fights. Max Holloway attempt to regain his featherweight crown against current champ Alexander Volkanovski. Absolute banger. Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo might not be the Bantamweight title fight most MMA experts wanted, but it’s a great match-up featuring two of the best strikers in the UFC.
We also get to see the return of former strawweight queen Rose Namajunas. Man. This is a UFC card for the ages and you’d be crazy to miss it.