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Usman favoured to retain crown as Masvidal laments coach’s absence

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UFC Welterweight champion, Nigeria’s Kamaru Usman has been tipped as the favourite in his championship bout with Jorge Masvidal tomorrow at the UFC Fight Island facility on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Usman, who will be looking to extend his winning streak in the octagon to 16 fights tomorrow, is rated as a -265 betting favourite for the fight.

In his run of 11 straight victories since joining the UFC in 2015, Usman has a professional MMA record of 16-1.

The 33-year-old has seen four of his past five fights go a full five rounds, including the unanimous decision win over Tyron Woodley as a +170 underdog, which earned him the UFC welterweight championship.

Although nine of his fights have been point wins, with five via knockouts,
He is tipped to overcome the hard-hitting Masvidal, who is making his first bid for the title as a+205 underdog. The 35-year-old American is coming off a third-round TKO win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244, and has finished opponents in each of his past three fights, including a record-setting KO win over Ben Askren just five seconds into their UFC 239 tilt.

According to sherdog.com, it remains to be seen how Masvidal will fare in a potential marathon tilt with Usman after seeing action in championship rounds just once in 48 career fights.

Meanwhile, Masvidal is worried by the potential absence of his coach, Mike Brown, who recently tested positive to
COVID-19 and was unable to make the trip to Yas Island. A

Masvidal accepted the fight on six days’ notice and passed his COVID-19 test in Las Vegas before taking a private jet to Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Although Brown appears to be in good condition, it was nonetheless a blow for Masvidal heading into his first UFC title bout.

“It sucked emotionally just because I want him there,” Masvidal said on SportsCenter. “When I get that belt, I needed this individual to be there, because he’s a huge part of my career. He’s been there for such a long time. We’ve been friends for a long time, as well. It was just like it took the air from all of us. Every single one of me and my cornermen were devastated by it. But thank God [that] Mike has no symptoms, nothing.”


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