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It was the fight for which the mixed martial arts world had clamored.
Kamaru Usman will defend his undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the UFC 251 headliner this Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Usman finds himself on a 15-fight winning streak. The Hard Knocks 365 representative last appeared at UFC 245 in December, when he put away Colby Covington with fifth-round punches. Usman owns an 11-0 mark inside the Octagon. Masvidal, meanwhile, replaced the ascendant Gilbert Burns, who was forced to withdraw from the event after testing positive for COVID-19. The longtime American Top Team export has not competed since he forced a doctor stoppage against Nate Diaz in the third round of their UFC 244 showdown on Nov. 2. Masvidal has compiled a 12-6 record since he joined the UFC roster in 2013.
In advance of the hotly anticipated Usman-Masvidal confrontation, a look at some of the numbers they have generated:
33: Years of age for Usman. He was born in Auchi, Nigeria, on May 11, 1987.
1,521: Total strikes landed by Usman in UFC competition. He ranks sixth on the promotion’s all-time list for welterweights, behind only Georges St. Pierre (2,523), Jon Fitch (2,039), Neil Magny (1,763), Nick Diaz (1,536) and Chris Lytle (1,533).
42: Takedowns executed by Usman inside the Octagon, tying him with Demian Maia for seventh-most in UFC history at 170 pounds. Only St. Pierre (87), Johny Hendricks (61), Covington (58), Fitch (53), Karo Parisyan (53) and Magny (45) have more.
1: Usman win by submission. He disposed of Hayder Hassan with a second-round arm-triangle choke at “The Ultimate Fighter 21” Finale on July 12, 2015.
2,605: Days since Usman suffered his only professional defeat, as he submitted to a Jose Caceres rear-naked choke at a Championship Fighting Alliance event in May 2013.
35: Years of age for Masvidal. He was born in Miami on Nov. 12, 1984.
8: First-round finishes on the Masvidal resume, including his record-setting five-second knockout of former Bellator MMA and One Championship titleholder Ben Askren at UFC 239. He has one other sub-minute stoppage under his belt—a 56-second technical knockout against Brant Rose in 2007.
10: Masvidal losses by decision, accounting for 77 percent of his career total (13). Five of them were of the split variety.
3: Fighters ranked ahead of Masvidal in the UFC’s current welterweight pecking order. They are Usman, Burns and Covington.
131: Professional victories between the six men—Maia, Rustam Khabilov, Al Iaquinta, Benson Henderson, Lorenz Larkin and Stephen Thompson—who have beaten Masvidal inside the Octagon. All six defeats went to the judges.
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