(Reuters) – Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman ground out a decision triumph over Jorge Masvidal to keep his belt, and Alexander Volkanovski retained his featherweight title with a split choice triumph over Max Holloway at the UFC 251 occasion in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
With Masvidal taking the title battle on 6 days notification after Gilbert Burns was required to pull out after testing favorable for the new coronavirus, Usman utilized his superior fumbling and clinch work to wear down the challenger over five rounds.
The 33-year-old ripped vicious hooks to the body versus the cage and smothered Masvidal on the ground, sapping the challengers energy en path to a persuading win.
” All these people, theyre getting ready for one man, and thats me, at the top of the mountain, and I needed to make a psychological shift,” Usman said after the battle. Masvidal “is tough, and he revealed it out there.”
In the co-main event Australian Volkanovski, who won the featherweight belt from Holloway via unanimous decision in December 2019, discovered himself behind early on, after he was knocked down at the end of each of the first two rounds.
The previous semi-professional rugby league gamer dug deep, relying more on his fumbling and doing just enough over the last three rounds to edge out the Hawaiian on the judges scorecards and stay unbeaten in the UFC.
In the cards other title battle, Russias Petr Jan scored a ruthless technical knockout over Brazilian Jose Aldo to declare the bantamweight title left vacant by the retirement of previous champion Henry Cejudo in May.
Dropping down a weight class, previous featherweight champ Aldo held his own however wilted in the fourth round, and the Russian controlled him with ground strikes in the fifth up until the referee waved the eradicate, declaring Yan the winner by TKO.
Reporting by Philip OConnor in Stockholm; Editing by William Mallard
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