Kamaru Usman will smother the threat of Jorge Masvidal to claim victory when the duo meet for the welterweight championship at UFC 251 on Saturday night, Gareth A Davies has told William Hill.

Masvidal was a late call-up to face welterweight champion Usman after Gilbert Burns had to withdraw from the fight and Davies is predicting fireworks.

“Masvidal’s become a fan-favourite with brilliant stand-up,” Davies told William Hill. “He’s very dangerous with his hands, very unorthodox, and very decent on the ground as well.

“But against the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’, he’s the man who can smother your style, who can smother your striking.”

Davies added: “I favour Kamaru Usman to smother the work of Jorge Masvidal and win on points by decision, but Masvidal, unorthodox, will be dangerous the whole way. It’s going to be a thriller.”

“These two really don’t like each other, we’ve seen the public beef between them,” Davies continued. “It’s going to be a fantastic build-up this week and it should also be an amazing fight.”

Holloway to gain revenge over Volkanovski

Elsewhere on the UFC 251 bill, Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway meet for the featherweight title, with the latter looking to regain the belt he lost to Volkanovski in December.

If Holloway can play to his strengths then Davies believes he will be the fighter celebrating come Saturday night.

“Max Holloway will gain revenge over Alexander Volkanovski,” Davies said. “This is going to be a chess match as they go into the sixth round against each other. This is the opportunity for Max Holloway to put right what went wrong back last December in Las Vegas.

“He’s got to use his movement, he’s got to get his range right. He’s a taller, longer man anyway but he’s got to use those reach advantages – use the lateral movement that he has, the angles that he can create and if so, it’s going to be a really tight, close fight this time.

“Unless Volkanovski actually does just have Max Holloway’s number, I’m picking Max Holloway to win the belt back in a barn-stormer of a fight that’s going to go five rounds. Rejuvenated, looking at a new gameplan, avoiding those lower-leg kicks, which make him more static. I think this is going to be a terrific fight. Worthy, of course, of a main event. Max Holloway on points.”

Yan to land knock-out blow to Aldo

The third of the big three fights to take place on Saturday is the vacant bantamweight title clash between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo.

While Aldo may be a UFC star and former featherweight champion, the fact that he is new to bantamweight level may work in Yan’s favour, according to Davies.

“It’s a very tough ask I think for Jose Aldo in this fight,” Davies said. “Petr Yan, the Russian, is very rounded. He’s capable of going the distance and controlling the octagon, but I think he’ll get a stoppage in this fight against Jose Aldo. He’ll draw him in and I think it will be an emphatic victory for the Russian.

“I see him getting a stoppage in the third or fourth round in this fight but nonetheless, the experience of the 33-year-old against the 27-year-old will keep Aldo in the fight early. But for me, Petr Yan takes this by a significant and emphatic knock-out in the third or fourth round. I cannot wait for this event, it’s going to be spectacular.”

Check out all the latest UFC betting odds at William Hill