Fans are back at UFC 261 as a sold-out crowd of 15,000 fill the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, April 24. Headlining a main card featuring three championship bouts is a welterweight title rematch between the current king Kamaru Usman and challenger Jorge Masvidal. In the co-main event, UFC women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili makes her second title defense, against former champion Rose Namajunas. Current women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko puts her strap on the line against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
It was the fight many fans wanted to run back and Uncle Dana listened. Usman will defend his welterweight belt for a fourth time tonight after winning it in 2019 against Tyron Woodley. In the first match-up between Usman and Masvidal, Usman won a lopsided decision over Masvidal.
This will be the first fight of 2021 for Masvidal. In fact, it is his first fight since the lost to Usman nine months ago. Masvidal is known most recently for some impressive knockouts and stoppages. Will this fight be where Masvidal gets back in his winning ways?
Both fighters start with a lot of movement as if to try and control the center of the ring. Usman strikes Masvidal with an overhand right one minute in. Both fighters are trying to figure out an in against the other. Masvidal trades the overhand back a minute later. Shortly after the “Nigerian Nightmare” lands the first takedown of the fight. Halfway through the first round and Usman is controlling the ground with his superior wrestling. Masvidal is throwing any strike he can land to get back to his feet. Almost and soon as Masvidal is on his feet he is back on the ground. This time it was short lived. With a minute left, both fighters are standing and exchanging strikes. Masvidal may be losing this round but he still looks poised.
The second round has started a bit slower. Both fighters are starting to show respect for the other. Usman landed a devastating overhand right and knocked Masvidal out!
Masvidal smiled a lot after every strike landed against him except for this one.
Usman defeats Masvidal via KO (2nd round 1:02)