‘Nigerian Nightmare’ tops intriguing UFC 251 on Fight Island
Johannesburg, July 8 – For months, “Fight Island” was the mysterious super-plan dreamed up by UFC boss Dana White in response to international lockdowns the world over.
This weekend, his grand vision becomes reality in the surreal surrounds of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, the bio-bubble venue hosting UFC 251, which will be broadcast on SuperSport this weekend – live on SS 11 and SS Maximo from 2am Sunday.
Amid super-strict health protocols, which resulted in headliner Gilbert Burns forfeiting his spot at the 11th hour after testing positive for the Coronavirus, the MMA organisation has managed to put together one of the best shows of recent years.
Even though Burns lost his shot, Jorge Masvidal of the US is an outstanding replacement as a challenger for Nigerian Kamaru Usman’s welterweight belt. Notwithstanding the late notice, Masvidal was hard in training and ready for action.
He didn’t mince his words: “I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, then get paid for it.”
Usman, also known as “The Nigerian Nightmare”, is one of UFC’s most formidable fighters and was unfazed by the change, reckoning his heavy hands will do the business.
Masvidal, a seven-year UFC veteran, went 3-0 last year, including setting the record for the fastest KO in UFC history against Ben Askren (five seconds).
UFC 251 will also feature two other championship bouts: former featherweight titleholder Max Holloway will take on the man who dethroned him, Alexander Volkanovski, in a much-awaited rematch, while Petr Yan and Jose Aldo are due to fight for the vacant men’s bantamweight belt.