Kamaru Usman — the most decorated Welterweight champion since Georges St-Pierre — is out to silence former training partner-turned rival, Jorge Masvidal, once and for all tonight (Sat., April 24, 2021) in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 261, which is emanating live inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., in front of a packed house.
Usman most recently scored an impressive technical knockout win over another former teammate, Gilbert Burns, earlier this year. He blanked Masvidal on the judges scorecards in their first encounter in July 2020, one that was booked on just six days notice and took place half a world away on “Fight Island.” The circumstances were far from ideal for both fighters, though, with Usman coming into the bout with a compromised nose. So, tonight is the night to settle the score once and for all ... no excuses.
Live updates will begin to flow below the moment the two fighters make their way to the Octagon ...
Masvidal, the challenger, was the first to make his walk to the cage:
And then it was the champ’s turn to get locked in:
Both fighters refused to touch gloves, with Usman dangling low during the staredowns. Masvidal came out with kicks, an odd strategy for someone trying to avoid takedowns like the plague. Usman stood in the middle of the cage, landing a solid overhand right one minute into the bout. Masvidal stalked the champ, with Usman circling out and uncorking a big right hand that just missed. Low kick from Masvidal, then missed with a left hook counter. Midway through the round, Usman finally picked up Masvidal and dumped him on the mat like a sack of potatoes. Masvidal worked some serious elbows off his back as Usman tried to respond in kind from full guard. Masvidal eventually worked his was toward the cage and walked up, but Usman punished him every step of the way. Masvidal broke free with one minute remaining and scored with an inside leg kick. Usman landed a hard right hand, then a jab, that buzzed Masvidal. He recovered and unleashed a flying knee moments later before the bell sounded ... great round, very close.
Masvidal got round two started with an inside leg kick then lunged in with hard right hand, which Usman countered with a hard shot of his own. Usman then fired a hard right that dropped Masvidal immediately — he collapsed like a lawn chair. “Gamebred” rolled, dazed and confused, but Usman was on him like white on rice. He unleashed four or five hellish hammerfists before his lights were totally turned out. Referee Herb Dean tried to stop it sooner, but as usual, he was a little too far from the action. Nevertheless, Usman made a statement tonight — there was no controversy or funny business. He cleaned his clock like no one before him ever has ... unbelievable. Usman somehow keeps getting better and better — already two finishes in 2021. And that’s a scary thought for the rest of the 170-pound division.
Final result: Usman defeats Masvidal via knockout in round two (HIGHLIGHTS)
And the cageside reaction was priceless ...
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