Unbelievable night with a main card stacked with unforgettable moments
By: Emmanuel Mendez
UFC 261 will be a memorable event because of the amazing moments witnessed and the fans back in attendance. It took place in VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and is the first event with full capacity indoors since the pandemic.
The fans there made the atmosphere amazing, and the main card lived up to expectations.
The first bout was in the light heavyweight division when Anthony Smith took on Jimmy Crute. The fight ended in the first round due to a doctor stoppage.
Smith gives a right leg kick on Crute`s left leg which makes Crute fall. Crute couldn’t feel his leg and a second-round never happened. Crute wanted to continue but the doctor stopped the fight and Smith won by TKO.
That leg injury wasn’t the only one we witnessed in this event. The next bout was in the Middleweight division which included Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman.
The fight was a quick one as it only lasted 17 seconds when Chris Weidman kicked Hall and broke his leg. It was a gruesome injury similar to the one with his fight against Anderson Silva.
Weidman’s right leg completely snapped, and one could hear the crack. It was a sad ending for the American fighter to get such a terrible injury.
The fight was stopped, and Hall won due to injury and by TKO.
The title fights were up next and the first one was in the Women flyweight division. Valentina Shevchenko defended her title against Jessica Andrade and won convincingly in the second round.
She wins by TKO with 3 minutes and 19 seconds in the second round with many significant strikes and a lot of takedowns. She is still the undisputed women flyweight champion and is a dominant one which she showed against Andrade. It was a brilliant performance from the Kyrgyzstani champion.
The co-main event was for the UFC Women Strawweight championship as champion Weili Zhang looked to defend her title against Rose Namajunas. Both fighters started fast with some missed strikes and also connected some strikes.
The fight ended with 1 minute and 18 seconds in the first round when Namajunas connected a fantastic left high kick to Zhang`s head and knocked her out. Zhang was upset and got up trying to continue the fight, but she wasn’t completely there.
Namajunas is the new woman strawweight champion and wins the championship for a second time.
The main event was for the UFC Welterweight championship between Champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. This is a rematch to their previous fight a year ago, also for the welterweight championship when Usman and Masvidal went through all five rounds.
Usman won the previous fight by unanimous decision and this fight was also dominated by part of Usman.
The striking from Masvidal improved from the first fight and in Round 1, both fighters were connecting good punches to each other. Usman used his strength to look for those takedowns but Masvidal was threatening Usman with his high knees and leg kicks. There was lots of tension between these two and it could have gone either way.
In Round 2, Masvidal continued to use those leg kicks and looked for those punches while Usman was waiting for the right time to strike. Then with 1 minute and 2 seconds in the second round, Usman catches Masvidal with a right hand and knocks out Masvidal clean.
This is the first time Masvidal has ever been knocked out in the UFC and Usman is still the undisputed UFC welterweight champion. It was a perfect right hand and Usman is now considered one of the best if not the pound-for-pound fighters in the world.