Kamaru Usman scored a surprising second-round knockout to end Jorge Masvidal and retain the undisputed UFC welterweight title at UFC 261 in Florida.
The bout, which occurred in entrance of 15,000 followers in Jacksonville, was a rematch of their assembly at UFC 251, the place Masvidal stepped in on six days’ discover however misplaced out to Usman on the scorecards after 5 gruelling rounds.
American Masvidal, 36, stated that he would fare higher after a full coaching camp, whereas Nigerian Usman, 33, promised to ship an much more decisive victory within the rematch to register his fourth successive title defence.
The pair engaged in an exhilarating back-and-forth battle by spherical one, with each males having fun with success on the toes, whereas Usman scored a major takedown halfway by the spherical.
The bout exploded in spherical two when Usman related with an enormous straight proper hand that despatched Masvidal crashing to the canvas for a knockout victory.
Usman’s win improved his report to 19-1 and prolonged his unbeaten run to 18 fights, together with 14 straight victories within the UFC.
“I told everybody, I’m still getting better. The sky’s the limit for me as long as I’m doing this,” he stated.
“I know with my fundamentals, I am the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet right now.”
Masvidal was elegant in defeat as he reacted to the primary knockout lack of his 50-fight MMA profession.
“First time in my career, and it’s in front of all my people, my family and my friends, so it hurts,” he stated.
“I’ve never been knocked out in 50 pro fights. Usman showed me something that he didn’t show in the first fight. I didn’t feel his power, and that’s what happens when you get overconfident. I thought we were going to wrestle more.
“All the props to him on the earth. He caught me abruptly. He’s received my quantity. There’s nothing I can say. He received this honest and sq.. God bless him.”
Namajunas stuns Weili with spectacular knockout
In the night’s co-main event, Rose Namajunas reclaimed the UFC women’s strawweight title with a spectacular first-round knockout of Chinese champion Zhang Weili.
Namajunas started confidently as she looked to work her jab in the early exchanges but Weili countered with a few low leg kicks. The 28-year-old then answered with a perfectly timed high kick to the head that dropped Weili, 31, to the canvas.
Namajunas followed her opponent to the mat and connected with a pair of hammerfists, as referee Keith Peterson swiftly moved in to stop the fight with the American becoming a two-time strawweight champion.
“I did not see her transferring. I wasn’t positive if she was going to come again from that. Just a few hammerfists and I felt like that [she] was out,” stated Namajunas.
Shevchenko dominates to proceed flyweight reign
The first title fight of the night saw women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko continue her dominance of the 125lb division with a second-round TKO finish of top contender and former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Kyrgyzstan’s Shevchenko, 33, finished Brazilian challenger Andrade, 31, with elbows from the crucifix position to register her fifth straight title defence in a fight she completely dominated from start to finish.
Despite being known for her striking, Shevchenko opted instead to use her grappling skills to take Andrade off her feet before finishing her with ground strikes to claim her 21st professional win.
“My plan was to come into the octagon and destroy my opponent. Sorry, Jessica, however that was my plan,” she stated.
“I need to say one factor. When my opponents strive to determine out what’s a weak point of mine, do not waste your time. There is not one.”
Former champion suffers leg harm
Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s hopes of a big win ended in just 17 seconds as he suffered a broken leg in his bout with Uriah Hall.
The bout ended immediately after the very first kick of the fight as Weidman threw a powerful leg kick, which was checked by Hall.
The block instantly broke Weidman’s leg in an incident that was eerily similar to an injury sustained by former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his rematch with Weidman in 2013.
After the fight, Hall paid tribute to Weidman and promised to face him again in the future once he had fully recovered.
“I received nothing however respect for Chris Weidman. He’s really top-of-the-line,” he stated.
“Man, I really feel so unhealthy. I hope he is OK. I together with his household nicely.
“Whatever rank I am in the future, if he gets healthy, I owe him this fight.”
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