UFC 251: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal Play-by-Play

In the main event of UFC 251, Kamaru Usman put his UFC Welterweight Championship on the line against Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal took the fight on less than a weeks notice, replacing former challenger Gilbert Burns. Here’s how the championship fight played out.

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (16-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-13) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Masvidal landed leg kicks early. Usman caught one for a takedown, landing on top in full guard. Masvidal, who was still on his back, landed some punches to the head once Usman stood up. They returned to stand-up in the second minute. They clinched for a moment where Usmand landed a punch to the stomach. Masvidal landed a knee to the body in a clinch. Usman tried for a takedown halfway through the round, but Masvidal was able to stay up against the fencing. Usman threw an elbow as they left the clinch. A cut opened under Masvidal’s left eye. Masvidal landed a good two-punch combination in the final minute of the fight. They traded punches in the clinch to end the round.

Usman tried for a single leg takedown early in the second round, but Masvidal was able to escape. Another attempt was stopped within the minute. Usman kept Masvidal against the cage in a body lock. Another cut opened on Masivdal’s head. Upon replay, it looked like the cut was opened by a head collision. Umsan kept him in the clinch for most of the round, with them separating in the final minute of the round. 

Usman put Masvidal against the fence, throwing some punches before engaging in a clinch at the start of the third round. Masvidal was relaxed, smiling while being attacked. Usman landed an elbow after leaving the clinch. Usman shot for a takedown in the second minute of the round. A pause came after Masvidal was punched in the groin. They resumed after a couple minutes of an intermission. Usman got a takedown in the fourth minute of the round after Masvidal charged forward at him. They stood up in a clinch where Usman got another takedown, landing in side control. Usman moved into full guard after Masvidal rolled over. Usman landed some strikes from top position before the round ended.

They clinched in the fourth round after Masvidal resisted a single leg takedown. Usman got a takedown in the second minute of the round. They got back up in a clinch, separating with just over two minutes to go in the bout. Usman put Masvidal against the cage again with a minute to go until the round ended.

Usman landed a punch in the first minute of the last round, following it up with a takedown. Usman went into a side control with two minutes to go. Masvidal stopped Usman from going into full mount. They got back up in a clinch with less than a minute left. Masvidal landed some knees to the body before they left clinch. Masvidal missed with a flying knee. The fight ended with the fighters on the feet. Needing judges for the third time in a championship fight, the judges selected Usman as the winner (50-45, 50-45 & 49-46).

RESULT: Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via Decision, Unanimous

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Usman 9 10 10 10 10 49
Masvidal 10 9 9 9 9 46

Live coverage of UFC 251 can be found here.

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