Amanda Ribas vs Paige Vanzant
The main card of UFC 251 started with the women’s strawweight fight between Amanda Ribas and Paige Vanzant. Amanda, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu started aggressively and pushed Page to the Fence and scored a take down quickly. Page tried to get out from position but in the process gave her arm to Ribas who took full advantage and got the arm bar finish in less than 3 minutes into the fight. Amanda had better skills, techniques and aggression and looked clearly the more talented fighter. She is definitely a contendor for the strawweight belt.
Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas
Next up was the rematch between ‘Thug; Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade. In their first encounter Rose dominated most parts of the fight with her striking but it took only single moment for Jessica ,who lifted Rose in the air after grabbing a single leg and slammed her on the canvas, putting her to sleep immediately.
This time around, the match got underway in similar style with Rose dominating the first round with her striking. Her movement, and footwork looked spectacular and in an absolute ‘flow’ state. She landed more punches in the exchanges and Jessica found it difficult to cope up with the her speed. Round-1 was won by Rose, clearly. Round-2 started with Jessica being more aggressive and getting into fierce exchanges which put Rose on the back-foot. She landed some nice punches which disturbed the flow of Rose. It was a 50:50 round with no fighter landing it clean. Round-3 had a similar story. Jessica being aggressive and landig some nice strikes but not enough to knock out Rose. However she did land enough to make the area beneath Rose’s left eye swell. Jessica was dominant in round 2 & 3 but neither fighter landed clean knock out punches. However, the decision was given to Rose by the Judges which was a bit shocking.
Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo
The first of the title fights saw former champion Jose Aldo take on upcoming fighter from Russia Petr Yan. Yan was deemed as the favorite by most of the UFC fans as they thought Aldo had aged more which would make him struggle against the 27 year old, Yan. The match started with both fighters giving respect to each other’s skills and not taking any risks. Aldo started chopping the legs of Yan with a couple of powerful kicks that made Yan to quickly change his stance from Orthodox to Southpaw which he continued throughout the fight. To much surprise, Aldo looked much better in the first two round with more significant strikes landed. However, In the end of round 3 Yan landed a couple of punches that put Also on the canvas which Yan then took control of by hitting nice punches to the ribs from the top position. Luckily for Aldo, only a couple of seconds where left in the round which he survived. Aldo, showed signs of struggle and Yan started to dominate. In the championship rounds, Yan started to dictate with landing nice left hooks and taking the fight to the ground. In the fifth round, one straight left punch from Yan shook Aldo completely and another punch put him on the ground. Yan then took the back of Aldo and started landing heavy punches on the head. Aldo couldn’t take no more and the referee decided it was enough. Yan, is the new bantamweight champion.
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway
The rematch between featherweight king Max Holloway and Alex Volkanovski was a highly anticipated title fight as much was said before the fight by the two fighters. Max thought he had won the first fight which the judges gave it to Alex which in most people’s opinion was correct.
This time around, Max started the fight with more pressing on Volko and landed more significant strike in each round. Volko replied with some nice leg kicks. Max continued the pace and aggression in the first three rounds and clipped Volko and making him loose balance a couple of times. In the championship rounds, Volko turned the heat on Max by attempting a couple of take downs which Max defended with great ease. Max’s recovery from take downs is on a different level. Volko did managed to score a take down at the end of the fight but couldn’t capitalize as the time had ran out. On any day, this fight would have easily gone to Max with a unanimous decision however the judges had a different opinion and they gave the victory to Alex Volkanovski by a split decision.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal
The main event saw Jorge Masvidal take on Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. Masvidal, who took the fight on six says notice after Gilbert Burns who was set to fight Usman in the main event initially, tested positive for the Corona virus. Masvidal, who had a bad blood with Usman after the duo had a heated argument at public event wasted no time in taking the fight.
The fight started with Masvidal throwing punches and kicks in the beginning of the round. Usman took some of the shots and immediately started to wrestle and pinned Masvidal to the fence. He worked the body of Masvidal really well and gave him no time to fight back. Much part of the rounds were spend on the fence with Usman working on Masvidal’s body and legs. However, Masvidal showed really good take-down defense as he managed to get out from difficult position on the ground a couple of times. The whole fight was played more on the fence with Usman dominating in the clinch. The judges gave a unanimous decision in the favour of the champion – Kamaru Usman. However, Masvidal must be credited for his performance which he managed to pull out in such a short notice and also for his brilliant take down defense.