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UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal takes place Saturday, July 11 at Fight Island aka Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates and airs live on ESPN+ PPV. Check out our live UFC 251 recap on YouTube.com/TheSportsCourier and Facebook.com/TheSportsCourier!
$50,000 Performance Bonuses:
- Fight of the Night: Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade
- Performance of the Night: Jiří Procházka and Davey Grant
UFC 251 Main Card Results on PPV:
Women’s Flyweight: Amanda Rivas def. Paige VanZant via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:21. Quick takedown and armbar by Ribas who improves to 10-1. This is the last fight on PVZ’s UFC contract.
Women’s Strawweight: Rose Namajunas def. Jéssica Andrade via split decision. Andrade tagged and busted up Namajunas in Round 3, but Namajunas weathered the storm to tie their rivalry at 1-1. Awesome fight.
Vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship: Petr Yan def. José Aldo via TKO (punches) to win the UFC bantamweight title in Round 5.
Round 1: 10-9 Yan for Round 1. Aldo hit his trademark leg kicks that briefly gets Ran off his feet, but Yan looks very comfortable. Yan hits a good right hand. Aldo attempts a takedown, but Yan gets on top and hits him with some heavy shots on the ground. Aldo grimaces as he’s saved by the bell. Looked like a big hit to the midsection that nearly did Aldo in.
Round 2: 10-9 Aldo. Ref keeps telling Yan to stop keeping his fingers out. Aldo working the body. Both men largely standing and trading with neither backing down. Good leg kicks and head movement by Aldo. Much closer round.
Round 3: 10-9 Aldo. Aldo with a knee to the body. Side kicks to body by Yan. Body shot by Aldo. Ref warns Yan about the fingers again. Aldo with a nice combo and clinch leading to a knee to the head. They break. Aldo looking good for a longtime fighter who is cutting more weight than ever.
Swing and miss by Yan. Straight left by Aldo. Combo by Yan. Aldo ducking under Yan combo. Jab by Yan. Yan lands some good head strikes and elbow that backs up Aldo. Aldo landing good body shots in this round and throughout the fight so far. They tie up. Aldo hits a spinning elbow to close out the round. Another close round.
Round 4: 10-9 Yan. They tie up and break. Body kick by Yan. Grazing knee to head by Aldo. Body shot by Aldo, but Yan immediately responds with a powerful combo. Another combo from Yan. Yan looks noticeably faster. Yan attempts a takedown, but Aldo stays on his feet.
Aldo bleeding from the nose and slowing down. Aldo backpedaling a bit as Yan pressures him. Big uppercut and right hand by Yan. Yan yanks Aldo’s down by the leg and hits heavy shots to the head and body on the ground. Aldo ends the penultimate round bloody and on his back.
Round 5: It could be anybody’s fight here. And as I write that, Yan knocks Aldo down and demolishes him on the ground for an insanely uncomfortable amount of time. Referee Leon Roberts remembers he’s supposed to protect the fighter after an eternity and stops the fight dozens of shots too late as Aldo lays bloodied, battered, and turtled up. Shameful stoppage by ref. Great performance by Yan.
UFC Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Max Holloway via split decision – 48-47 Holloway, 48-47 Volkanovski, 48-47 Volkanovski
Round 1: 10-9 Holloway due to Holloway using his reach well and knocking down Volkanovski.
Round 2: 10-9 Holloway. Holloway once again using his reach well and knocks down Volkanovski with a great combo for a second time.
Round 3: 10-9 Holloway. Holloway looks much better than the first fight so far. Volkanovski kept it much closer here.
Round 4: 10-9 Volkanovski. Volkanovski trying to close the distance. This seems like the closest round by far. Volkanovski fighting like a man who knows he’s down.
Round 5: 10-9 Volkanovski. Volkanovski continuing the aggression like a man who needs a finish. Good combos by both fighters. These guys look fresh after over 20 minutes of action! Holloway is bleeding from the nose. Volkanovski gets his second takedown in six attempts, but Holloway quickly back to his feet.
Holloway blocks the takedown attempt. Volkanovski pushing forward and gets another takedown attempt blocked. Volkanovski gets his best takedown in the last 10 seconds to close out the fight. I have it 3-2 Holloway. Great fight.
UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamura Usman (c) def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Round 1: Masvidal taking this fight on a week’s notice and lost 20lbs. That’s a fighter, man… Body kicks by Masvidal. The wrestler Usman takes Masvidal down 30 seconds into the fight. Masvidal smiling on the ground. Masvidal aggressive even on the ground with upkicks and slaps. Masvidal gets back to his feet.
Usman attacks the body. Knees by Masvidal. Usman throws the jab and briefly takes Masvidal down. Masvidal pressed against the cage. Masvidal has landed 28 punches, kicks, and elbows halfway through the round so far to Usman’s eight strikes. They break.
Masvidal fighting at a fast pace and getting the better of the striking exchanges so far. Usman pushes Masvidal against the cage and attacks the body as the round ends. 10-9 Masvidal
Round 2: Body kick by Masvidal. Masvidal fights off the takedown attempt. Usman goes for another, but Masvidal stays on his feet. They fight for the underhooks against the cage. Good shots by Usman on the break. Announcers point out Masvidal busted open earlier in the fight due to accidental headbutt. That sucks.
Usman leaning on Masvidal against the cage and hitting him with body shots and stomps. Usman trying to get Masvidal tired. Conor McGregor style shoulder strikes by Usman. They break at :39 mark. Body kicks and head kick by Masvidal. Everything Masvidal throws looks rough for Usman. There was a second clash of heads per the replay. 10-9 Usman
Round 3: Big cuts above both eyes of Masvidal. Body kick by Masvidal. Body shot and clinch against the cage by Usman. Usman stomping on Masvidal’s feet and hitting short range body shots. They break. Masvidal hits a body kick, but is tied up again. Masvidal blocking the takedown.
Accidental low blow by Usman. Ref tries to separate both fighters who stare each other down. Lots of bad blood. Masvidal takes a breather and they resume in center of octagon. Leg kick by Masvidal. Takedown by Usman. Masvidal gets up only for taken to take him down further away from cage. Masvidal tries to explode out side control, but Usman ends up on top in his open guard. Usman smothers Masvidal with a can opener and short elbows to close out the round. 10-9 Usman
Round 4: Usman goes right back into the clinch. An ugly yet effective gameplan by Usman so far. Masvidal hits a knee to the head on the break, but Usman immediately takes him down. Usman working to take Masvidal’s back. Masvidal gets his back against the cage.
Big left by Usman whose takedown attempt gets stuffed. Masvidal hits a good combo and breaks the clinch. Front kick by Masvidal. Jab by Usman. Body kick by Masvidal blocked. Masvidal takes a punch against the fence and is clinched up again. Big shoulder strike by Usman. They stare each other down as the bell sounds. 10-9 Usman
Round 5: Masvidal needs a finish here. Jab by Usman. Takedown by Usman. Usman’s endurance and cardio is something else. Elbows by Usman. Masvidal trying to tie up the arms. Masvidal attempting an omoplata. Can’t get it. Usman in side control. Masvidal trying to wiggle out and explode. Masvidal gets on his knees as Usman still maintains top control with front facelock. Masvidal gets to his feet and attempts one final flurry as the bell sounds. They engage in an intense staredown before finally shaking hands. 10-9 Usman.
UFC 251 Prelims Results:
Light Heavyweights: Jiří Procházka def. Volkan Oezdemir via knockout (punch) – Round 2, :49. Big way to make a UFC debut!
Bantamweights: Davey Grant def. Martin Day via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 2:38
Catchweight (141lbs): Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Catchweight (129lbs): Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision (29-28 across the board)
Heavyweights: Marcin Tybura def. Alexander Romanov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Lightweights: Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision (29-26 across the board)
Featherweights: Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Welterweights: Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
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