Usman exerted continuous pressure on the challenger as he denied Masvidal the time and area to toss his strikes. Usman looked to use his clinch work to use on Masvidal, with much of the second round invested against the cage in a prolonged and gruelling exchange. The legacy of the round was a nasty cut above Masvidals right eye, courtesy of an accidental clash of heads.
” They call him Gamebred for a factor – hes always video game to fight. I will fight everyone.
The emirates Yas Island had actually been changed into UFC Fight Island, a closed-off area where 4 UFC occasions are set to be held during July.
The very first centerpiece of the four-event run saw Nigerian Usman, 33, successfully defend his belt with a gritty screen to earn ratings of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 from the 3 judges after 5 gruelling rounds.
Masvidal, who was drafted in to deal with Usman at simply 6 days notification after the Brazilian Gilbert Burns evaluated positive for Covid-19, eventually could not find an answer to Usmans powerful fumbling video game.
The 35-year-old American discovered a house for his strikes early on as he started the faster of the pair. He had a clear speed and precision benefit in the striking department and he stung the champion with multiple shots throughout the opening exchanges, while nullifying Usmans early takedown attempts.
Usman exerted constant pressure on the challenger as he rejected Masvidal the time and area to toss his strikes. Usman aimed to use his clinch work to endure Masvidal, with much of the 2nd round spent against the cage in a lengthy and gruelling exchange. The tradition of the round was a nasty cut above Masvidals ideal eye, courtesy of an unexpected clash of heads.
A substantial slam takedown from Usman was the greatest minute of the third round as the champion continued to smother Masvidals striking.
That pattern duplicated through the last two rounds as Usman shut down Masvidal, who had earned his shot at the title with a trio of interruption victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in 2019.
Usmans triumph enhanced his record to 17-1 and extended his winning streak to 16 fights in the UFC.
” Jorge is a goon and I give him credit for that,” said Usman.
” They call him Gamebred for a factor – hes always game to combat. Im just a level better. I have more tools in the toolbox.”
Usman dominated his opponent in Abu DhabiVolkanovski retains featherweight title
In the nights co-main occasion, Alexander Volkanovski, 31, retained his featherweight title by edging a split-decision decision after 5 tight, tense rounds with previous champ Max Holloway.
Australian Volkanovski, who beat Holloway through consentaneous choice to dethrone the Hawaiian and win the 145lb title at UFC 245 in December, was dropped in the very first two rounds of the rematch. He needed to fight his method back into the contest as he declared the last three rounds to deny Holloway revenge.
In spite of having to train in near-isolation in his home town of Waianae, Holloway, 28, appeared to have actually made the required changes from their first meeting, which saw Volkanovski hold the edge in the striking exchanges.
Holloway briefly dropped Volkanovski with a head kick at the end of the opening round, then duplicated the trick with an uppercut at the end of the 2nd as he began the sharper of the two.
The 3rd round saw Volkanovski begin to work his method back into the contest with the closest round of the battle, prior to outpacing the former champion through the 5th and fourth rounds to take the fight to the scorecards.
Volkanovski wound up edging a split decision with ratings of 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47 to extend his winning streak to 19 fights, including 9 in the UFC.
” I understood it was two rounds apiece entering into that last round. I had to win that last round,” stated Volkanovski.
Yan catches bantamweight title
In the very first title fight of the night, Russian bantamweight Petr Yan destroyed two-time previous featherweight champion Jose Aldo to catch the uninhabited bantamweight title.
Yan, 27, registered a staggering 194 significant strikes – a UFC record – en route to a fifth-round TKO surface of Aldo as he signed up with light-weight king Khabib Nurmagomedov as Russias second UFC champion.
Yan stung Aldo in the opening 90 seconds with a big ideal hand and appeared to have the Brazilian severely injured with a body shot in the closing seconds of the opening round as the Russian took charge early. Aldo started to find a routine home for his effective leg kicks as he worked his way back into the contest in round 2.
With the battle in the balance heading into round three, Yan pushed the rate and worked Aldo non-stop to the body and head as he started to sap the Brazilians gas tank.
Then, as Aldo slowed in the champion rounds, Yan showed up the heat as he damaged his enemy with ground strikes until referee Leon Roberts waved off the fight at the 3:24 mark of the last round.
After the fight, Yan commemorated his challenger, then named the guy he wishes to face in his very first title defence.
” Aldo is a legend. I have only regard for him,” he stated.
” My division has very difficult fighters in the top five. I will combat everyone.
Usman extended his winning run to 16 fightsWelterweight champion Kamaru Usman maintained his title with a consentaneous decision triumph over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.