UFC 251

UFC 251: Kamaru Usman earns comfortable decision over Jorge Masvidal

Wrestling and grappling used

Jorge Masvidal (35-14-0) had a chance to pull off an upset of a generation at UFC 251 Saturday night, but champion Kamaru Usman (17-1-0) had other ideas.

Crossfire Vault – The UFC 251 Notebook

Usman used a steady diet of takedowns and clinchwork to neutralize the dangerous power and striking of Jorge Masvidal en route to a unanimous decision victory in the main event of UFC 251.

Masvidal took the fight on six days notice after original challenger Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19.

Usman’s gritty clinchwork was also on display after Masvidal seemed to land some good body shots near the end of the first round. The takedowns and clinchwork ate up large portions of time the rest of the way forcing Masvidal to remain defensive.

Masvidal tried to use kicks to fend off Usman, but the champion used the opportunities to tie him up and wear him down. Elbows and shoulder strikes in the clinch by Usman did produce an accidental headbutt. Usman turned up the frustration by constantly stomping on Masvidal’s feet.

Some late offence in the final seconds of the final rounds by Masvidal wasn’t enough to sway the judges,  who scored it 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46.

The win marks Usman’s second consecutive defence of the belt and according to Dana White’s post-fight comments, will likely defend against Burns in his next fight.

Davey Grant and Jiri Prochazka earned performances of the night, while Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade earned Fight of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC 251 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

DAVEY GRANT VS. MARTIN DAY

 

WINNER: DAVEY GRANT VIA KO (PUNCH) R1 2:38

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DAVEY GRANT VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Grant’s experience in the octagon proved to be handy.

KAROL ROSA VS. VANESSA MELO 

 

WINNER: KAROL ROSA VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KAROL ROSA VIA UD 

Andrews: Rosa went to work and piled up the points on Melo.

ZHALGAS ZHUMAGULOV VS. RULIAN PAIVA

WINNER: RAULIAN PAIVA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ZHALGAS ZHUMAGULOV VIA UD

Andrews: Paiva outworked Zhalgas, but what about those groin shots?

MARCIN TYBURA VS. MAXIM GRISHIN

WINNER: MARCIN TYBURA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MARCIN TYBURA VIA TKO

Andrews: Grishin was working on short notice. Good win as expected for Tybura.

UFC 251 PRELIMS 

LEONARDO SANTOS VS. ROMAN BOGATOV 

WINNER: LEONARDO SANTOS VIA UD (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: LEONARDO SANTOS VIA UD

Andrews: Another foul-filled bout. The reffing took something away from this bout.

MAKWAN AMIRKHANI  VS. DANNY HENRY 

WINNER: MAKWAN AMIRKHANI VIA TECH SUBMISSION (ANACONDA CHOKE) R1 3:15

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DANNY HENRY VIA UD

Andrews: Tidy win for Mr. Finland.

ELIZEU ZALESKI DOS SANTOS VS. MUSLIM SALIKHOV

WINNER: MUSLIM SALIKHOV VIA SD (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MUSLIM SALIKHOV VIA TKO

Andrews:  Hmm. Many thought Dos Santos won. Good fight though.

VOLKAN OEZDEMIR VS. JIRI PROCHAZKA 

WINNER: JIRI PROCHAZKA VIA KO (PUNCH) R2 0:49

ANDREWS PREDICTION: VOLKAN OEZDEMIR VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Jiri’s striking is for real.

MAIN CARD 

PAIGE VANZANT VS. AMANDA RIBAS

WINNER: AMANDA RIBAS VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R1 2:21

ANDREWS PREDICTION: AMANDA RIBAS VIA UD

Andrews: Ribas was just better. Best of luck to Paige as she tests free agency.

JESSICA ANDRADE VS. ROSE NAMAJUNAS 

WINNER: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VIA TKO

Andrews: That was one big final round for Jessica, but Rose had the first two rounds already. Good fight.

PETR YAN VS. JOSE ALDO

WINNER: PETR YAN VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R5 3:24

ANDREWS PREDICTION: PETR YAN VIA UD

Andrews: Aldo once again had a valiant performance, but Yan is just the next generation. Ref should have stopped the fight a lot sooner.

ALEXANDER VOLKANOVKSI VS. MAX HOLLOWAY

WINNER: ALEX VOLKANOVSKI VIA SD (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: That was a close fight. Good striking by Holloway but once again Volkanovski’s style neutralized it just enough.

MAIN EVENT

KAMARU USMAN VS. JORGE MASVIDAL 

WINNER: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD (50-45, 50-4,5 49-46)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD

Andrews: Usman used his strengths and Masvidal could not overcome them. Not a barnburner of a fight, but it was effective.

@kenaiandrews UFC 251: Kamaru Usman earns comfortable decision over Jorge Masvidal

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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