Kamaru Usman will once again defend his UFC welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 261, which will take place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday. It will be the first UFC event since March 2020 where a crowd will be available in the United States.
Usman vs. Masvidal 2 is one of three title fights on a card that sold out within hours. There are expected to be more than 15,000 spectators in the arena.
The first time Usman and Masvidal met, in July 2020, “Gamebred” intervened less than a week in advance to contest the title after Usman’s original opponent, Gilbert Burns, was pulled from the fight because he contracted COVID. -19.
Usman dominated the fight with clinch work and takedowns. He obtained a unanimous decision to retain his title. Now that both fighters have had a full camp, will things be different this time?
Also on the card are Valentina Shevchenko defending her women’s flyweight title against Jessica Andrade and Zhang Weili putting her women’s strawweight title on the line against former champion Rose Namajunas.
Shevchenko is widely recognized as the second best fighter on the planet. She pushed double champion Amanda Nunes to the limit twice before falling to flyweight and becoming champion with a dominating performance over Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She will seek her fifth consecutive title defense when she faces former strawweight champion Andrade.
Zhang is making his second title defense after putting on a Fight of the Year performance against Jędrzejczyk in March 2020 before the pandemic hit. Namajunas got back into title position last July by avenging his title loss to Andrade.
Sporting News is tracking live fight updates and highlights for Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2 and the entire undercard. Follow for full UFC 261 results.
UFC 261 Live Updates, Highlights from Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal 2
10:15 pm: We’re kicking off UFC 261 with a full house and a light heavyweight battle between Anthony Smith and Jimmy Crute. Smith bounced back from back-to-back losses with a first-round submission against Devin Clark, while Crute has two straight first-round finals.
9:43 pm: Randy Brown finished the job against Oliveira with a notable one-armed rear-naked choke in the first round. He dropped Oliveira with a straight forehand early in the round and chased the Brazilian to the canvas. Oliveira tried to escape, but Brown recovered and wrapped an arm around his opponent’s neck. Oliveira tried to fight him, but Brown squeezed hard and made the final submission. There was clearly a bit of animosity between the two fighters, but Brown directed fans to his Twitch channel for an explanation.
9:32 pm: The crowd at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena has been on fire since the first fight. They are obviously happy to be able to watch the fights live despite concerns about the lingering COVID pandemic. We’ve had a few endings and a few decisions, but the fans don’t care and are ready to blow the roof off once the main card arrives. But for now, we conclude the preliminaries with Alex Oliveira facing Randy Brown.
Usman vs. Masvidal 2 start time
- First preliminaries: 5:45 pm ET
- Preliminaries: 8 pm ET
- PPV main card: 10 pm ET
- Fight between Usman and Masvidal: 12:15 am ET (approx.)
The main card for UFC 261 will begin around 10 p.m. ET. Usman and Masvidal are expected to enter the Octagon at approximately 12:15 am ET. The start time of the main event will depend on how long the previous fights last.
How to watch UFC 261
- TV channels: ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN +
The first fights on the UFC 261 card can be watched on ESPN or streamed through the Watch ESPN app. The main card will be available through ESPN +, which requires a subscription.
UFC 261 Card
- Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal for Usman’s UFC Welterweight Championship
- Zhang Weili (c) vs. Rose Namajunas for Zhang’s UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Andrade for Shevchenko’s UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship
- Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman; average weights
- Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute; light heavyweights
- Randy Brown defeat. Alex Oliveira via submission in the first round (2:50)
- Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic by split decision (29-28, 29-28 and 28-29)
- Brendan Allen defeat. Karl Roberson via submission in the first round (4:55)
- Patrick Sabatini defeat. Tristan Connelly by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 and 29-28)
- Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad by TKO in the 1st round (: 50)
- Rodrigo Vargas defeat. Rong Zhu by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28 and 29-28)
- Jeffrey Molina defeats Qileng Aori by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 29-27)
- Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang by second round TKO (1:28)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.