Kamaru Usman scored a surprising second-round knockout to complete Jorge Masvidal and retain the undisputed UFC welterweight title at UFC 261 in Florida.
The bout, which passed off 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, mentioned 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 exciting back-and-forth battle by way of spherical one, with each males having fun with success on the ft, whereas Usman scored a major takedown halfway by way of the spherical.
The bout exploded in spherical two when Usman linked 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 advised all people, I am nonetheless getting higher. The sky is the restrict for me so long as I am doing this,” he mentioned.
“I do know with my fundamentals, I’m the pound-for-pound finest fighter on the planet proper now.”
Masvidal was elegant in defeat as he reacted to the primary knockout lack of his 50-fight MMA profession.
“First time in my profession, and it is in entrance of all my individuals, my household and my mates, so it hurts,” he mentioned.
“I’ve by no means been knocked out in 50 professional fights. Usman confirmed me one thing that he did not present within the first battle. I did not really feel his energy, and that is what occurs once you get overconfident. I assumed we had been going to wrestle extra.
“All of the props to him on the earth. He caught me abruptly. He is obtained my quantity. There’s nothing I can say. He received this honest and sq.. God bless him.”
Namajunas stuns Weili with spectacular knockout
Within the evening’s co-main occasion, Rose Namajunas reclaimed the UFC girls’s strawweight title with a spectacular first-round knockout of Chinese language champion Zhang Weili.
Namajunas began confidently as she regarded to work her jab within the early exchanges however Weili countered with a number of low leg kicks. The 28-year-old then answered with a superbly timed excessive kick to the pinnacle that dropped Weili, 31, to the canvas.
Namajunas adopted her opponent to the mat and linked with a pair of hammerfists, as referee Keith Peterson swiftly moved in to cease the battle with the American turning into a two-time strawweight champion.
“I did not see her transferring. I wasn’t certain if she was going to come back again from that. Simply a few hammerfists and I felt like that [she] was out,” mentioned Namajunas.
Shevchenko dominates to proceed flyweight reign
The primary title battle of the evening noticed girls’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko proceed her dominance of the 125lb division with a second-round TKO end of prime contender and former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Kyrgyzstan’s Shevchenko, 33, completed Brazilian challenger Andrade, 31, with elbows from the crucifix place to register her fifth straight title defence in a battle she utterly dominated from begin to end.
Regardless of being identified for her putting, Shevchenko opted as a substitute to make use of her grappling abilities to take Andrade off her ft earlier than ending her with floor strikes to say her twenty first skilled win.
“My plan was to come back into the octagon and destroy my opponent. Sorry, Jessica, however that was my plan,” she mentioned.
“I need to say one factor. When my opponents attempt to determine 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 giant win resulted in simply 17 seconds as he suffered a damaged leg in his bout with Uriah Corridor.
The bout ended instantly after the very first kick of the battle as Weidman threw a robust leg kick, which was checked by Corridor.
The block immediately broke Weidman’s leg in an incident that was eerily much like an harm sustained by former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his rematch with Weidman in 2013.
After the battle, Corridor paid tribute to Weidman and promised to face him once more sooner or later as soon as he had totally recovered.
“I obtained nothing however respect for Chris Weidman. He is actually the most effective,” he mentioned.
“Man, I really feel so unhealthy. I hope he is OK. I along with his household nicely.
“No matter rank I’m sooner or later, if he will get wholesome, I owe him this battle.”