Kamaru Usman, the welterweight champion defended his strap for the second time at UFC 251 on Yas Island after defeating Jorge Masvidal in what ended up being an emphatic display of dominance.
The 170-pound king is now 12-0 in the UFC, and took the unanimous decision victory (50-45 x 2, 49-46) to beat Masvidal, who took the fight on six days’ notice after a positive COVID-19 test forced Gilbert Burns out of the headline act.
The challenger looked dangerous in the stand-up, but Usman controlled things in the clinch and on the ground as he grinded out another win to snap Masvidal’s three-fight win streak.
UFC 251 Results : Australian Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway (1) for featherweight title
In the co-main event, Australian Alexander Volkanovski was dropped in the first and second rounds, but roared back to defend his UFC gold against Max Holloway.
It was his first featherweight title defence, and the 31-year-old had to overcome the most adversity he’s faced in the UFC as he improved to 9-0 in the organisation. Sitting in a 2-0 hole, Volkanovski never looked overwhelmed as he reeled off three strong rounds to take the split decision victory (48-47 x 2, 47-48).
Volkanovski, who now has a win over Jose Aldo and two over Holloway, has placed himself in the conversation for best featherweight ever.
Before that, Petr Yan became the new bantamweight champion of the world after a stunning victory against Jose Aldo.
In the first of three title fights on the card, Aldo, off the back of two losses, was given a shot at the vacant 135-pound belt, but was outclassed by his Russian opponent who finally stopped him in the fifth round.
Yan, who takes the title Henry Cejudo left behind when he retired, is now 7-0 in the UFC.
The new champion took over in rounds four and five, with a final round barrage proving too much for Aldo, who probably could have been put out of his misery earlier than he was by referee Leon Roberts.
Main Card UFC 251 Results
Kamaru Usman (c) def. Jorge Masvidal (3) — via unanimous decision (50-45 x 2, 49-46) — welterweight title
Alexander Volkanovski (c) def. Max Holloway (1) — via split decision (48-47 x 2, 47-48) — featherweight title
Petr Yan (3) def. Jose Aldo (6) — via fifth round TKO — bantamweight title
Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade (1) — via split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29) women’s strawweight
Amanda Ribas (14) def. Paige VanZant — via first round submission — women’s flyweight