UFC 251: Kamaru Usman beats Jorge Masvidal to retain welterweight title

Usman equals Khabib Nurmagomedov's record of 12 consecutive UFC wins with points victory; Alexander Volkanovski retains featherweight title with split decision win over Max Holloway

PA Media

Sunday 12 July 2020 13:03, UK

Image: Kamaru Usman retained his welterweight title at UFC 251

Kamaru Usman has defeated Jorge Masvidal to retain his welterweight championship in a unanimous decision at UFC 251 in the United Arab Emirates.

Masvidal, who was called in as a last-minute replacement after Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus, had called Usman "mentally weak" prior to the fight.

But the judges found Usman too strong as they scored the fight 50-45 50-45 and 49-46 in his favour, allowing the Nigerian-American to equal Khabib Nurmagomedov's record of 12 consecutive UFC wins.

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Usman admits he had to overcome some mental challenges to beat Jorge Masvidal and retain the welterweight title at UFC 251
Image: Usman (left) defeated Jorge Masvidal on points to equal Khabib Nurmagomedov's record of 12 consecutive UFC wins

Australia's Alexander Volkanovski retained his featherweight title by defeating former champion Max Holloway for a second time.

Volkanovski won via split decision, with the American strong through the first three rounds before takedowns in the fourth and fifth rounds sealed it for the Australian.

Image: Alexander Volkanovski (left) retained his featherweight title by defeating Max Holloway for a second time

Earlier, County Durham bantamweight Davey Grant survived a broken jaw as he claimed a knockout win over American Martin Day in the third round.

Grant was dropped by a punch in the first round before slugging his way through the second and third until his left hook knocked Day to the canvas.

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Masvidal admitted the better man won on the night
Image: British fighter Davey Grant (left) survived a broken jaw to beat American Martin Day

In other bouts, Russia Petr Yan defeated Brazilian Jose Aldo with a technical knockout to claim the vacant bantamweight title, light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir was knocked out by Jiri Prochazka and welterweight Muslim Salikhov claimed a split-decision victory over Elizeu Zaleski.

Scotland's Danny Henry fell to Makwan Amirkhani courtesy of an anaconda choke in the first round in the featherweight bout, while unanimous decisions went to Poland's Marcin Tybura over Maxim Grishin in the heavyweight division and lightweight Leonardo Santos against Roman Bogatov.

Image: Rose Namajunas (left) won her rematch with Jessica Andrade

Amanda Ribas defeated Paige VanZant in the women's flyweight and Karol Rosa of Brazil beat Vanessa Melo by unanimous decision in the women's bantamweight.

And American Rose Namajunas got revenge on Jessica Andrade fourteen months after losing her strawweight title in Brazil, with Namajunas using her footwork to claim a split decision victory.

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