The first event on UFC’s “Fight Island” is in the books. In the main event of UFC 251, UFC welterweight champ Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” took on No. 3 contender Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. Gamebred took the bout on six days’ notice after the No. 1 contender, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the card.
Usman took advantage of Masvidal’s lack of a training camp, utilizing immense pressure and superior grappling to earn a unanimous decision victory. With his victory, The Nigerian Nightmare improved his professional MMA record to 17-1. He has won all 12 of his UFC bouts, tying Georges St-Pierre’s record of most consecutive wins at welterweight in the promotion.
With the loss, Gamebred’s three-fight winning streak was snapped and his MMA record fell to 35-14.
Fighters, Including Top Welterweight Colby Covington, React to Usman Defeating Masvidal
After the bout, Usman and Masvidal’s colleagues took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the match. Top welterweight contender Colby Covington tweeted: “Barn burner. Instant classic. Who could’ve seen that coming?”
Barn burner. Instant classic. Who could’ve seen that coming? #ufc251
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) July 12, 2020
UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones tweeted: “Congratulations Champ.” He followed up the tweet, writing: “Respect to Masvidal for taking that fight last minute, most men ain’t doing that.”
Congratulations Champ 🇳🇬 🇺🇸
— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 12, 2020
Respect to Masvidal for taking that fight last minute, most men ain’t doing that.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) July 12, 2020
Current interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje tweeted: “#andstill Pumped for @USMAN84kg glad to have him on the team. 6 days sucks, @GamebredFighter is as game as they come.”
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) July 12, 2020
Top welterweight fighter Stephen Thompson tweeted: “@GamebredFighter didn’t get the W tonight but he showed up for sure! @USMAN84kg proved that he is a great and deserving champion! Let’s throw down man!!”
@GamebredFighter didn’t get the W tonight but he showed up for sure! @USMAN84kg proved that he is a great and deserving champion! Let’s throw down man!! #respect #UFC251 #StrikervsWrestler @ufc @espnmma @arielhelwani
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) July 12, 2020
Retired fighter Ben Askren tweeted: “This fight is boring as s**t.”
This fight is boring as shit
— Funky (@Benaskren) July 12, 2020
Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima tweeted: “Effective but boring!!”
Effective but boring!!
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) July 12, 2020
Bellator fighter and Conor McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis tweeted: “i feel asleep who won the main event?”
i feel asleep who won the main event?
— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) July 12, 2020
UFC middleweight talent Uriah Hall tweeted: “@GamebredFighter with the heart.”
@GamebredFighter with the heart 👏🏾
— U R I A H H A L L (@UriahHallMMA) July 12, 2020
UFC legend Vitor Belfort tweeted: “Much respect to @GamebredFighter accepting this fight 6 days notice he is something else. @USMAN84kg I think is to sharp with top Wersling and great hands.”
— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) July 12, 2020
UFC 251 Fight Card Results
Three title fights took place on July 11. Besides Usman and Masvidal’s battle, the featherweight and bantamweight championship belts were up for grabs. In the co-main event, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski defeated former-champ Max Holloway for the second time.
Petr Yan and Jose Aldo competed for the vacant bantamweight title, and Yan took the strap home by fifth-round TKO. The results can be viewed below:
Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via Split-Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via Fifth-Round TKO
Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant Via First-Round Armbar
Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oezdemir via Second-Round KO
Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via First-Round Anaconda Choke
Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via Unanimous Decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)
Early Preliminary Card
Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Davey Grant def. Martin Day via Third-Round KO
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