Nigeria Welterweight Champion in the UFC will throw his title in the octagon early Sunday morning in the 251 Universal Fight Championship when he takes on Cuban American Jorge Masvidal in the main event 5 am Nigerian time.
The ” Nigeria Nightmare ” will be having another title defence since he became the first African to win a UFC world title in 2018.
He remains the favourite with 16-1-0 records going into the fight, but he needs to be wary of an opponent that accepted to fight him in world title challenge with just six days notice.
He has been preparing for the past five weeks for the title defence against Gilbert Burns who had to pull out after he tested positive to the novel coronavirus seven days to the bout, so Jorge Masvidal accepted to replace infected Burns.
This narrative makes it dicier for Kamaru, he has to change training plans and strategy to accommodate Masvidal who is highly determined, title hungrier and more formidable and experience than Burns.
Burns and Jorge Masvidal are two different birds when it comes to strength and weaknesses.
Burns is more comfortable with wrestling while Masvidal has more tricks in Boxing.
Kamaru Usman is more of wrestler he needs to switch preparation and fight strategy from preparing for a wrestler to face boxer, this makes it more risky and dangerous fight.
The Yas Island in Abu Dhabi will host this fight, Nigerians will keep vigil to catch how the Auchi born will deal with this peculiar situation at hand.
Kamaru has won his last 15 fights including a title defence against Colby Covington, his last bout.
All that will count nothing if he fails to tame this trickish fighter otherwise the octagon could be too slippery for kamaru to stay the duration of the fight.
Masvidal has won 6 of last 10 and lost 13 of his 35 bouts of UFC career but his knockout victories over three super high-profile fighters, Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz makes him a dangerous customer.
The odds are against a Masvidal victory. For the Cuban American to win he needs to force Kamaru Usman to go on toe-toe with him.
This same trick he put out against Ben Askren, he fell Ben and that’s all she wrote. He may set the same trap for the Nigerian Nightmare.
But Kamaru Endurance in the octagon makes this to be an almost impossible task, I hope Kamaru won’t be too proud to go into a toe-toe with him in order to prevent an upset.
I guess Kamaru Usman will be more decisive and go for the kneels, put Masvidal on the floor as soon as possible and work out a lockdown.
If Kamara can his tame his ego and approach the fight head-on, Masvidal will fall, down and out before the fifth round and have successful title defence.
Other cards in the UFC 251 card is a rematch between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title.
Holloway lost the belt to Volkanovski seven months ago via unanimous decision and revenge will be on his mind.
The third title bout will be between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo go for the vacant bantamweight belt. While Volkan Oezdemir vs Jiri Prochazka will be competing in the Light Heavyweight category and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Muslim Salikhov in the Welterweight
The rest of the fights are
Makwan Amirkhani vs Danny Henry – Featherweight
Leonardo Santos vs Roman Bogatov – Lightweight
Marcin Tybura vs Alexander Romanov – Heavyweight
Raelian Paiva vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov – Flyweight
Karol Rosa vs Vanessa Melo – Women’s Bantamweight
Davey Grant vs Martin Day – Bantamweight