UFC Struggle Island debuted from Abu Dhabi and it was an evening that lived as much as all of the hype. It already had an ideal card with three title fights. Issues had been tense within the build-up to the battle with the private rivalry between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal taking centre stage. Followers had been hyped for the return of ‘Gamebred’ after the pullout of Gilbert Burns as a result of Covid-19. Nonetheless, Masvidal got here up quick towards a marauding Usman.
Masvidal began robust with a flurry of strikes within the preliminary minutes. He stored touchdown on Usman however the champion continued to carry robust. Usman then turned to his wrestling and the battle titled in direction of him. As quickly as a slugfest began, Usman (17-1) went for a clinch to empty out Masvidal. It labored because it slowed down the challenger. However Masvidal was all the time within the battle as he landed deadly leg kicks and a number of combos on Usman all through the battle. There have been bursts from Masvidal however all these had been scuffed up by Usman thorough his battle IQ.
There was much less of the ‘Colby Covington battle’ and extra of the ‘Tyron Woodley battle’ in Usman at UFC 251. He appeared to win the match and retain the title , whereas Masvidal continued to depend on his punching energy. Issues had been private earlier than the occasion and it appeared as if the unhealthy blood between the 2 might result in an all-out struggle. However that wasn’t to be because it proved one of the underwhelming fights of the night time with. A lot time was spent in clinches and floor management. Usman has already been criticised by followers for his ‘boring’ model of preventing and this doesn’t assist his case. However that doesn’t take away the truth that Usman was the higher fighter towards Masvidal. He knew the right way to break Masvidal and he did that efficiently. Usman is a wrestler and he took full benefit of his superior abilities to overpower Masvidal and win the battle.
— jake (@jake4eyez) July 12, 2020
Masvidal advised Usman that they need to run it again however the aesthetic of the UFC 251 battle wouldn’t probably excite the followers for an encore. It appeared like Masvidal got here for a battle however Usman went in to defend his belt.
The judges’ scorecard learn 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 in favour of Usman which tied him with Georges St-Pierre for the longest streak in UFC welterweight historical past. This was Usman’s 12th consecutive victory.
He is an issue! 🇳🇬
— UFC (@ufc) July 12, 2020
Alexander Volkanowski (22-1) was trying to cement his legacy as he defended his UFC Featherweight Championship towards former champion Max Holloway. Volkanovski had earlier defeated the featherweight ‘GOAT’ Holloway final yr. The contender dominated the Australian within the first two rounds with fixed strain. Nonetheless, Volkanovski began discovering his stride within the third spherical however it appeared like Holloway had performed sufficient to win the decisive three rounds in a five-round battle. Volkanovski confirmed his championship coronary heart within the final two rounds. He received the fourth spherical decisively and edged Holloway within the ultimate spherical. It went to the judges they usually introduced Volkanovski because the winner of the battle. It was a cut up choice however it’s certain to incite debate within the MMA neighborhood.
— UFC (@ufc) July 12, 2020
The bantamweight title was up for grabs with Russian fighter Petr Yan (15-1) dealing with featherweight legend Jose Aldo (28-7). Yan appeared like a superior fighter all through as he continued to blast Aldo with stiff punches and leg kicks. Aldo wasn’t prepared to surrender and fought again arduous along with his trademark strain punches. However the 27-year-old Yan was an excessive amount of to deal with for 33-year-old Aldo. Within the championship rounds, Yan elevated his depth and continued to pound on. The Brazilian bled closely over the past spherical as Yan began a brutal present of floor and pound. The referee waived off the battle to safeguard Aldo as Yan turned the brand new bantamweight champion of UFC.
Namajunas (9-4) returned from a 14-month break since Andrade (20-8) claimed her title with an upset victory, stunning the champ with a physique slam after Namajunas dominated the early battle.
Namajunas by no means allowed a chance for Andrade to complete her within the rematch, dominating the primary two rounds together with her slick placing and fluid motion. Andrade rallied within the third and badly broken Namajunas’ nostril and left eye, however Namajunas received 29-28 on two judges’ scorecards.
Rose Namajunas celebrates after her split-decision victory over Jessica Andrade.
USA TODAY Sports activities
“I used to be simply in the suitable way of thinking,” Namajunas mentioned. “That’s all the things. Early on within the battle, I used to be doing nice. Then I believe she hit the desperation button and began actually unloading. She caught me a few instances, however I simply stayed robust.”
Kamaru Usman (c) beat Jorge Masvidal by way of unanimous choice to retain the welterweight title
Alex Volkanovski (c) beat Max Holloway by way of cut up choice to retain featherweight title
Petr Yan (c) beat Jose Aldo by way of TKO to win the bantamweight title
Rose Namajunas beat Jéssica Andrade by way of cut up choice
Amanda Ribas beat Paige VanZant by way of first-round submission (armbar)
Jiří Procházka beat Volkan Oezdemir by way of second-round knockout
Muslim Salikhov beat Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos by way of cut up choice
Makwan Amirkhani beat Dan Henry by way of first-round submission
Leonardo Santos beat Roman Bogatov by way of unanimous choice
Marcin Tybura beat Maxim Grishin by way of unanimous choice
Raulian Paiva beat Zhalgas Zhumagulov by way of unanimous choice
Karol Rosa beat Vanessa Melo by way of unanimous choice
Davey Grant beat Martin Day by way of third-round knockout
(with AP inputs)