Conor McGregor will face Jorge Masvidal for welterweight belt if Kamaru Usman is beaten at UFC 251, predicts Ben Askren

CONOR MCGREGOR has been tipped to challenge for the UFC welterweight title if Jorge Masvidal beats Kamaru Usman.

Masvidal, 35, steps in on a week's notice to challenge for the belt against Usman, 33, on the UFC's 'Fight Island'.

The American veteran comes into the headliner off the back of a breakthrough 2019 with wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.

And Askren – who was brutally KO'd in just five seconds against Masvidal – expects Diaz or McGregor to be next for the title if Usman is defeated in the Middle East.

He told ESPN: "The other thing is McGregor's got to move up and fight [Masvidal]. And that would be a gigantic fight.

"McGregor obviously wants that third title, Usman would be a terrible match-up for McGregor in my opinion and that's why that fight was not made.

"It will be McGregor – Masvidal if Masvidal wins."

Masvidal agreed to fight Usman on less than a week's notice after Gilbert Burns was dramatically pulled from the PPV event after testing positive for coronavirus.

Burns was only handed the title fight after Masvidal initially failed to agree terms with the UFC.

But after stepping in at the last minute, former welterweight contender Askren believes the UFC will repay him with a rematch if he loses a competitive fight.

Askren said: "If this fight is competitive and Masvidal loses, Masvidal will get a rematch.

"With a full camp, as it will do good numbers, the UFC will want to do good numbers again and Gilbert Burns will not do good numbers.

"If it's very uncompetitive and boring, like Masvidal's not able to stuff any takedowns or he's not able to get up, then they're obviously not going to give him a rematch.

"But if it's competitive, and it's like 48-47 and there's really bright moments for Jorge then they will give him a rematch."

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