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UFC prospect getting chance

(AP) – Jorge Masvidal had to fly halfway around the world on six days’ notice to get the first UFC title shot in his 17-year mixed martial arts career.

Masvidal isn’t mad about the twists that sent him to Abu Dhabi this week with minimal time to train for his fight with Kamaru Usman tonight. Three spectacular wins last year turned Masvidal into one of the UFC’s top rising stars at the tender age of 35, and he plans to ride his momentum all the way through the reigning welterweight champion at UFC 251.

“The reason I’m here is because I’ve taken opportunities like this in the past,” Masvidal said. “I’ve just got to take advantage of it. It’s what I love to do. It’s what I’ve done since I was a child. I’ve just got to give it everything I’ve got.”

The showdown between Masvidal (35-13) and the hard-nosed Usman (16-1) headlines the UFC’s biggest show of the summer on Yas Island, the tourist destination that has been taken over by the UFC and rechristened “Fight Island.”

UFC 251 also features featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s first title defense against long-reigning champ Max Holloway, along with vaunted Petr Yan’s bout against former champ Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight belt.

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