UFC 251 was one of the most stacked fight cards ever, and it gave fight fans a ton of action including a walk-off knockout, a face slap and a dominant win for Kamaru Usman over Jorge Masvidal in the main event.
Usman defeated Masvidal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) to retain the UFC welterweight championship.
Here are some of the best photos and unforgettable videos from a card that lived up to the hype.
UFC Makes History With Fight Island
Easily the most epic photo from UFC 251 has to be of an Octagon on the beach simply because this was a history-making event.
When COVID-19 paused all major sports with no end in sight, Dana White and company found their way over that hurdle. Fight Island was their answer for international fights.
UFC 251 was the inaugural event for Fight Island and was a historical moment for the company, fighters and fans. You can see a stunning photo of the Octagon on the beach below.
The entire card went off, not necessarily without a hitch, but we do know the UFC was willing to shelve their main event for the safety of fighters and everyone else involved. Fortunately, Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal played the part of heroes and saved the day.
Fight Island is scheduled to host three more events in July on the 15th, 18th and 25th.
A Walk-off KO to Start the Night
The most stacked UFC card in history deserved this epic start to the night.
Martin Day faced Davey Grant in the very first match-up of the night but ended up flat on his back in the third round. If you missed this walk-off KO, or just want to see it again (and again and again), watch the video below.
A Slap to the Face Makes Everything Better
It’s not a training tactic often used, but sometimes a slap to the face is just what a fighter needs. Roman Bogatov’s corner delivered the epic slap heard in living rooms around the world.
Unfortunately, it did not help Bogatov enough as the fighter lost via decision to fellow lightweight Leonardo Santos.
Don’t Sleep On This Featherweight
Sleep is one of the best things anyone can do for their health.
But you don’t want to go to sleep during a UFC match. Unfortunately, Danny Henry had no choice in the matter when Makwan Amirkhani unleashed a chokehold and won the bout by submission.
You can watch Henry go night-night in the video below.
The Happiest Fighter on the Planet
Amanda Ribas defeated Paige VanZant via submission in the first round of their matchup that kicked off the main card for UFC 251.
Ribas unloaded a magnificent armbar to which her opponent soon tapped out. She immediately followed that move by unleashing something even more powerful: a big hug.
And then in her post-fight interview, Ribas declared “I have a big heart!” and let her joyous laughter put smiles on the faces of anyone watching. She then proceeded to dance a jig as well.
The whole thing was amazing to witness, and you can watch her full interview in the video below.
She Won the Fight But Her Face Lost the Battle
Rose Namajunas won the fight against Jessica Andrade but one would never guess that after seeing Namajunas’ face after the fight.
Despite her split-decision win, Namajunas came away with cuts, a severely swollen left eye and possibly a broken nose for her work at UFC 251. You can see her post-fight interview below where she graciously celebrates her win and offers support for a fellow UFC colleague, Suzy Friton, that is battling cancer.
The End of a Legend
Jose Aldo is a legend in the MMA community and was likely tabbed for this title fight versus Petr Yan because of that status.
Unfortunately for Aldo, Father Time definitely made his presence known on Saturday night.
Yan soundly defeated Aldo by TKO in round five of their matchup. Aldo put up a solid fight and fans were surely impressed by the fighter’s heart and determination.
Watch some of Yan’s most devastating shots in the video below.
A ‘Super Necessary’ Decision Win Ends the Night
Jorge Masvidal took this fight on just six days’ notice. Kamaru Usman accepted the fight on just six days’ notice. That alone puts both of these fighters in a league of their own.
Masvidal started strong and fast but wasn’t able to maintain that pace through all five rounds. Usman’s ground game and activity during clinches sealed the decisive win for the champ.
That said, we got some epic action from Masvidal that did not disappoint including this kiss blown to someone across the cage. It’s hard to tell who the intended recipient was, but as it turns out, it may have been for the UFC title belt he did not take home at the end of the night.
Watch Masvidal blow that kiss in the video below.
The UFC has never failed when it comes to marketing and promotion. And the promotion for Fight Island did not disappoint.
Personal trainer and bodybuilder Kai Greene tweeted out a Fight Island promo video of epic proportions. Greene served as the narrator for the video that is an MMA and Mortal Kombat mashup. You can watch the whole promo video below.
And with that we can UFC 251 officially delivered on all the hype, perhaps serving up a fatality for fight fans who will definitely need time to recover from all the amazing action.
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