The welterweight championship bout – which sees fan favourite Masvidal stepping in to challenge Usman on six days’ notice following the withdrawal of Gilbert Burns with coronavirus – will follow a rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway for the featherweight title.
Champion Volkanovski dethroned Hawaii’s Holloway in December, and the pair’s upcoming clash at the first ‘Fight Island’ event this weekend is not the only rematch on the card. Former women’s strawweight champions Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade will also compete for the second time, with both fighters looking to re-establish themselves as top contenders in the division.
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Elsewhere, the vacant men’s bantamweight championship is on the line as Russia’s Petr Yan competes against former featherweight king Jose Aldo.
Paige VanZant is also in action against Amanda Ribas. Here’s everything you need to know about UFC 251:
What time does the event start in the UK?
The main card starts at 3am BST on Sunday. The preliminary card begins at 1am BST, and the early prelims get underway at 11.30pm BST on Saturday.
Usman and Masvidal will likely make their ring walks for the main event at around 5am BST on Sunday.
How can I watch it?
The main card and prelims will air on BT Sport 1. Both of these parts of the show can also be streamed on the BT Sport app.
In order to watch the early prelims, viewers will need a UFC Fight Pass, with which subscribers can also watch the main card and prelims.
The Independent will also be providing live updates.
Who is going to win?
Champion Usman (16-1) is on a 15-fight win streak and is favoured in the main event, in part due to Masvidal accepting the fight on late notice.
However, Masvidal (35-13) went 3-0 in 2019, so he is in great form. He was also already training for a potential bout with Usman before this week’s developments, so he should not be counted out.
What’s the full card?
Kamaru Usman (C) vs Jorge Masvidal (welterweight)
Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski (C) (featherweight)
Jose Aldo vs Petr Yan (vacant bantamweight title)
Paige VanZant vs Amanda Ribas (women’s flyweight)
Volkan Oezdemir vs Jiri Prochazka (light heavyweight)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Muslim Salikhov (welterweight)
Makwan Amirkhani vs Mounir Lazzez (featherweight)
Leonardo Santos vs Roman Bogatov (lightweight)
Marcin Tybura vs Alexandr Romanov (heavyweight)
Raulian Paiva vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (flyweight)
Karol Rosa vs Vanessa Melo (women’s bantamweight)
Martin Day vs Davey Grant (bantamweight)