In the UFC 261 main event, we have a rematch between the welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, and Jorge Masvidal. The pair previously met on just six days’ notice at UFC 251. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ retained his belt with a dominant decision win. ‘Gamebred’ will be hoping he can be more effective with a full fight camp behind him. Who’ll win? Let’s see who the LowKickMMA staff are backing.

Jordan Ellis: It’s hard to back against Kamaru Usman in this fight. He is already one of the best welterweight fighters of all time and dominated Masvidal just last year. For me, this rematch is not “super necessary”. I expect Usman will put on an even more dominant display than we saw at UFC 251. The question is will be able to stop the always tough ‘Gamebred’?

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

Alex Lough: Six days, six weeks, six months. No matter how long of a training camp Masvidal gets, I see this fight going the same way. I guess there’s a thought that because Usman’s striking looked improved in his last fight against Burns that there’s a chance he could test it out against Masvidal and get caught. Let me tell you right now: the odds of Usman going that route are nil. He knows exactly what path he has to go down to get his hand raised at the end of the night, and he’s far too intelligent of a fighter to diverge even slightly from it. It’s not like their first fight was the first time Masvidal has struggled against a grappler. Demian Maia, Benson Henderson and Rustam Khalibov were all able to find success against him. Look for Usman to grind against the fence and work for takedowns. The more frustrated Masvidal gets, the easy the takedowns will come. And still.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

Frank Bonada: To be honest I see this one playing out in similar fashion to the first fight. If Usman uses his wrestling he can completely shut out Masvidals  game. The only concern is if Usman gets drawn into the striking exchanges. Masvidal has proven time and time again how lethal his hands are. But Usman should be able to dominate the fight if he clinches up or brings the fight to the mat.
Usman to win via decision.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

Ross Markey: Sometimes in MMA you simply run into an opponent which is likely to have your number each time you share a contest with them, and I appears to me, that Kamaru Usman has the tools to suppress and mitigate the striking expertise of Jorge Masvidal once again. Last July — granted, on six day’s notice, Masvidal dropped a one-sided unanimous decision loss to the incumbent, and the narrative immediately laid out was his calls for a significant training camp. The rematch has come together all too quickly yet again between Usman and Masvidal, and while Gilbert Burns managed to pose some early questions to Usman in the form of an overhand right, I expect the Auchi native to tighten everything up once again against Masvidal. Count out the Floridian and it may be the rock you perish on, but Usman has that fight altering attribute to his game; his wrestling. Kamaru Usman via decision.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.