On Saturday night, UFC presents its debut event from “Fight Island,” pay-per-view show UFC 251. Headlining the triple-header of championship bouts is a welterweight battle between UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Follow along throughout the night to get updates on the action from Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Quick Results – Click a fight to skip to its part:
Early Prelims (6:00PM EDT / 2:00AM GST) (UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 4:00AM GST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 6:00AM GST) (PPV)
Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (16-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-13) (UFC Welterweight Championship)
Usman Gets Unanimous Decision Over Masvidal
Kamaru Usman got the second defence of his UFC Welterweight Championship on Saturday night, defeating Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision. The performance saw Usman control the fight through wrestling and better conditioning.
Masvidal took the fight on six-days notice as the former opponent for Usman, Gilbert Burns, was taken off of the card following a positive COVID-19 test.
“They call him ‘Gambred’ for a reason, he’s always game to fight,” said Usman, giving credit to Masvidal’s late arrival to the card.
The first round was the best for Masvidal, as it was the round that had the most stand-up striking.
Usman captured the UFC Welterweight Championship in 2019, defeating former long-time champion Tyron Woodley. His first defense came in December where he stopped rival Colby Covington in the fifth round with strikes.
Bout 12: Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) vs. Max Holloway (21-5) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
Volkanovski Makes First Defense, Defeating Holloway In Rematch
Alexander Volkanovski earned his first UFC Featherweight Championship defence on Saturday, getting a split decision victory over former champion Max Holloway.
The fight had very close scorecards, with all three scorecards having the selected fighter ahead by one round.
Holloway earned knockdowns in the first two rounds, dropping Volkanovski with a head kick and an uppercut.
“We’re both hard workers but I got the job done,” said Volkanovski after the fight.
Volkanovski won the best in December of 2019 from Holloway, going to the scorecards in that matchup as well.
Bout 11: Petr Yan (14-1) vs. Jose Aldo (28-6) (Vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship)
Yan Crowned New Bantamweight Champion
Petr Yan became the new UFC Bantamweight Champion after stopping Jose Aldo in the fifth round with strikes. The close stand-up battle went the way of Yan around the fourth round where cardio became a huge factor.
Yan hurt Aldo with strikes in the fifth round, causing him to drop to the ground. Yan landed upwards of 25 punches, along with knees and elbows before the referee stepped in.
Yan nearly finished Aldo in the first round as he landed numerous strikes while in control on the ground.
Aldo had chipped away at Yan with leg kicks early in the fight. After the bout, Yan admitted that he had to change his stance due to damage from the kicks.
Prior to the fight, the UFC Bantamweight Championship was vacant, as former champion Henry Cejudo vacated the belt in May.
Undefeated in his UFC career, Yan has now won his seventh-straight within the promotion.
Bout 10: Jessica Andrade (20-7) vs. Rose Namajunas (8-4) (Strawweight)
Namajunas Avenges Loss Over Andrade
A split decision saw Rose Namajunas avenge her 2019 championship loss to Jessica Andrade. The fight, which was a close kickboxing battle from both competitors,
In their first meeting, Andrade defeated Namajunas with a slam in the second round to become the UFC Strawweight Champion. She has lost the championship since, losing to Weili Zhang.
Namajunas had more control earlier in the fight, with Andrade turning up the intensity in the latter half.
“I think she turned on a desperation button and really started unloading,” said Namajunas after the fight.
Bout 9: Paige VanZant (8-4) vs. Amanda Ribas (9-1) (Flyweight)
Ribas Catches VanZant With Armbar
Biggest Vegas favourite on the show Amanda Ribas delivered quickly, catching Paige VanZant on the ground with an armbar to get her fourth UFC win.
The fight was VanZant’s return to action after a year-and-a-half of an absence. Ribas got her fourth-straight win in the UFC, remaining undefeated since her 2019 debut.
In her post-fight interview, Ribas said she plans to move back down to strawweight.
Bout 8: Volkan Oezdemir (17-4) vs. Jiri Prochakza (26-3-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Prochazka Enters UFC With Knockout
Ending off the prelims, former RIZIN Light Heavyweight Champion Jiri Prochakza had an explosive UFC debut, finishing Volkan Oezdemir in the second round with strikes.
The first round saw Oezdemir land some shots that hurt Prochazka. The round showcased Prochazka’s unusual movements and style.
“I expected more wrestling from him,” said Prochazka afterwards.
With Oezdemir being ranked seventh in the light heavyweight division, Prochakza should expect to enter the UFC rankings on Monday.
Oezdemir had his two-fight streak of wins snapped with this fight. The streak included wins over Ilir Latifi and Aleksandar Rakic.
Prochazka’s streak of wins moves to 11-in-a-row including numerous wins in RIZIN over former UFC fighters.
Bout 7: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (22-6) vs. Muslim Salikhov (16-2) (Welterweight)
Split Decision Goes To Salikhov
In a split decision fight, Muslim Salikhov prevailed over Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. The fight saw both fighters have their moments on the feet, with the first two rounds being much more active than the final.
The win is the fourth-in-a-row for Salikhov, who now has a record of four wins and one loss in the UFC.
Bout 6: Makwan Amirkhani (15-4) vs. Danny Henry (12-3) (Featherweight)
Amirkhani Gets Anaconda Choke Win Early
Makwan Amirkhani got a quick win on the prelims, putting Danny Henry to sleep with an anaconda choke. Amirkhani got a takedown early on, slipping in the choke while on the way down.
The fight was a bounce back from a previous loss in November, losing to Shane Burgos.
“Everything went terribly wrong in my last fight. I got a new opportunity to show that I belong here,” said Amirkhani in his post-fight interview.
Henry now has two losses in a row in the UFC, evening his record in the promotion now.
Bout 5: Leonardo Santos (17-3-1) vs. Roman Bogatov (10-0) (Lightweight)
Fouls Take Bogatov Out of Contention For Debut Win
A debuting UFC fight for Roman Bogatov didn’t go a desired way, as point deductions took away his chance of winning over Leonardo Santos. Two groin strikes and a knee to the head while Santos was grounded caused a two-point deduction to Bogatov’s score in the third round.
Apart from the fouls, Bogatov had a decent final round, dominating Santos with wrestling. In the rounds before, Santos had solid striking and takedowns.
The fight was the first loss for Bogatov, who won 10 times prior to entering the UFC. Santos continued his strong UFC run, which has seen him pick up now six-straight victories
Bout 4: Marcin Tybura (18-6) vs. Maxim Grishin (30-7-2) (Heavyweight)
Slow Style Gives Tybura Win
A slow-paced fight made for a landslide victory for Marcin Tybura, who defeated Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision. The fight saw Tybura dominate by pressing Grishing against the cage for many minutes. He also landed a few takedowns in the fight.
The fight was the second-straight for Tybura in the UFC, with a win in February coming against Sergey Spivak.
Bout 3: Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-3) vs. Raulian Paiva (19-3) (Flyweight)
Paiva Defeats Debuting Zhumagulov
A unanimous decision went the way of Raulian Paiva, who defeated debuting UFC fighter Zhalgas Zhumagulov. Zhumagulov had a slow start, working his fastest and most efficient pace in the second round.
Zhumagulov ended the fight in pain, as right before the horn he was kicked in the groin for the second time within a round.
An overwhelming majority of press picked Zhumagulov as the winner, per MMADecisions.com.
The win is the second in a row for Paiva, who finished Mark De La Rosa earlier in 2020.
Zhumagulov was given his first loss in five fights. His last three bouts were five-round battles, as Zhumagulov held the Fight Nights Global Flyweight Championship.
Bout 2: Vanessa Melo (10-7) vs. Karol Rosa (12-3) (Bantamweight)
Rosa Wins Decision Over Melo
A clear decision went the way of Karol Rosa, who defeated fellow Brazilian bantamweight Vanessa Melo after three rounds of battle.
Rosa dominated in the fight by producing a higher volume of strikes, as well as being successful with takedowns. The win was the second for Rosa, who made her UFC debut in her previous bout.
Melo came in at 141 pounds for the fight, five pounds over the non-championship bantamweight limit.
Bout 1: Martin Day (8-3) vs. Davey Grant (9-4) (Bantamweight)
Grant Wins Striking War
After two-and-a-half rounds of hard striking, a left hook from Davey Grant dropped his opponent Martin Day, ending the fight.
The matchup was a real firefight, with both having numerous clean shots landing during the fight. Something had to give eventually, with that eventually being a left hook by Grant.
After the fight, Grant claimed to UFC President Dana White that he couldn’t feel his jaw.
“It’s broke, I feel it. It’s worth it,” said Grant to the commentary team afterwards.
The fight was Grant’s first finish win since his 2013 UFC debut. Also, for the first time in his UFC career, Grant now has two wins back-to-back.