Kamaru Usman wore out fan favourite Jorge Masvidal (35-14) in the main event of UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ early Sunday, retaining his title via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46).
Masvidal took the fight on six days’ notice after original contender Gilbert Burns was forced off the card with coronavirus,
‘Gamebred’ came with high energy in the first round, mixing up his striking and testing the champion, but Masvidal faded as the Nigerian nightmare wore him out against the cage over the course of the five-round fight to hold on to his title and take his tally to a staggering 17-1.
In the co-main event on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Max Holloway came up short in his attempt to regain the featherweight title from Australian Alexander Volkanovski – who dethroned the Hawaiian in December – losing a razor-close split decision (48-47, 47-48, 47-48).
Also, Russia’s Petr Yan beat former featherweight king Jose Aldo for the vacant men’s bantamweight belt with a fifth-round stoppage.