There’s no shortage of drama in the UFC and MMA’s eagerly anticipated arrival on Abu Dhabi’s ‘Fight Island’ is a case in point. In the build-up to tonight’s huge UFC 251 card, Brazilian title challenger Gilbert Burns tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in a last-minute change to the welterweight clash that sees fan favorite Jorge Masvidal (above) get his long-awaited title shot. Get straight to action by following our guide. Here’s how to live stream UFC 251 and watch Usman vs Masvidal online in the US with ESPN+ right now.
How to watch UFC 251 tonight
Tonight’s UFC 251 action is taking place in Abu Dhabi on Yas Island – aka Fight Island. It’s timed for US audiences, with the main card set to start at 10pm ET / 7pm PT. US readers wanting to cut to the chase need only know that ESPN+ is the place to watch the fight right now.
Prior to Usman vs Masvidal, the UFC 251 card serves up another juicy title fight in Volkanovski vs Holloway. The UFC Featherweight Championship bout is a re-match of the pair’s battle at UFC 245, which saw Volkanovski win by unanimous decision – much to the chagrin of 28-year-old Hawaii native Holloway.
As well as featuring huge title fights, there’s also interest in the card’s unique staging. The first of four UFC events taking place on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, in order to comply with local public health regulations, the arena is situated in a safety zone of ten square miles, with the complex also including access to amenities such as hotels, restaurants and a training cage on the beach.
Ready for some Octagon action? Let’s get to it. Follow our guide for full details of how to watch UFC 251 and live stream Usman vs Masvidal online tonight with great value streaming service ESPN+.
UFC 251 live stream: how to watch Usman vs Masvidal online in the US tonight
UFC fans in the US will likely know that ESPN+ has the rights to all of the biggest MMA fights around. That means it’s your one and only place to watch UFC 251 tonight in the US, with that massive Usman vs Masvidal main event slated to start at around 10pm ET (7pm PT) .
Your options for watching the event depend on whether or not you have already dived in and bought a subscription to ESPN+. If you haven’t, then the obvious way to go is with a UFC Bundle, costing you $84.98 – orders are already open. While that might sound like a lot, it’s not just getting you the UFC 251 PPV, but you’ll get a year-long subscription to ESPN+ (that would normally cost $50 alone) – a savings of over 25% in total.
On top of being able to stream July’s big event, a subscription to ESPN+ also opens up access to over 20 exclusive live UFC Fight Nights, alongside original content including Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC Destined, and Ariel & The Bad Guy, plus classic fights, replays, and there’s also the perk of fewer adverts.
What does a UFC fan get with their ESPN+ subscription?
Quite a lot, as it happens – On top of being able to stream July’s big event, a subscription to ESPN+ opens up access to over 20 exclusive live UFC Fight Nights, alongside original content including Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC Destined, and Ariel & The Bad Guy, plus classic fights, replays, and there’s also the perk of fewer commercials.
UFC 251: full card and prelims
Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal (UFC Welterweight Championship Title Fight)
Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway (UFC Featherweight Championship Title Fight)
Petr Yan vs. José Aldo (UFC Bantamweight Championship Title Fight)
Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas (Women’s Strawweight)
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant (Women’s Flyweight)
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiří Procházka (Light Heavyweight)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov (Welterweight)
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry (Featherweight)
Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov (Lightweight)
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov (Heavyweight)
Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (Flyweight)
Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo (Women’s Bantamweight)
Davey Grant vs. Martin Day (Bantamweight)
UFC 251 card: title fights and highlights
At one point UFC 251’s main event, the rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway places the featherweight title on the line. Having lost their previous title fight Holloway must somehow pick off the seemingly unstoppable Australian who has 18 straight wins to his name dating back to 2013.
The night’s third title fight sees Jose Aldo, commonly regarded as the greatest featherweight in history, take on Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title.
UFC 251 live: who are Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal?
Having chalked up 11 straight victories in the UFC, Kamaru Usman is one of MMA’s best grapplers and took the welterweight crown from Tyron Woodley last year. While the Nigerian Nightmare is known for his floor work, he can punch his way out of trouble when needed, and perfectly illustrated his fists as a means of attack during his dramatic final round stoppage over Colby Covington during the first defence of his title.
One of the most high-profile fighters currently plying a trade in UFC, Jorge Masvidal’s world-class take down defence is equally renowned – and his striking style should provide a fascinating counterpoint to the champ’s grappling. Currently third in the UFC welterweight rankings, many feel this title shot in long overdue for an experienced fighter who’s also fought in the Bellator, Strikeforce, Shark Fights, and World Victory Road promotions.
The vastly experienced 35-year-old American fighter has never had a shot a UFC belt before, despite an impressive 35-13 overall record that has seen him notch TKO wins over Nate Diaz and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone – as well as earn the distinction of fastest knockout in UFC history. Five seconds was all it took for a Masvidal flying knee to KO Ben Askren at UFC 239.
Usman vs Masvidal odds: who’s favorite to win at UFC 251 tonight?
Masvidal would likely have come into this clash as the underdog in normal circumstances, but his late inclusion means he’s had just a week to prepare for the fight. As a result, the bookies are favoring Usman to successfully defend his title even more heavily than they might have done – and there are likely to be some tasty odds on a Masvidal win for those to fancy their chances.
Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal: latest fights
Masvidal last stepped into the Octagon back in November at UFC 244 in New York when he was awarded victory over Nate Diaz after doctor’s stopped the fight in the third round due to a cut above his opponent’s eye.
Usman will be defending his belt for the second time after defeating Colby Covington in brutal style at UFC 245 in December in a clash that set a new record for the latest finish ever in a UFC welterweight fight.