Jorge Masvidal never gave up trying, but the wrestling and clinch game of welterweight champ Kamaru Usman, delivered the welterweight champ another title defense.
Masvidal came out firing kicks right out of the gate, but Usman responded with a takedown. As Usman postured up, Masvidal fired up a series of punches from below. Masvidal proceeded to work his way up and out and he continued to pour in strikes.
Usman clinched up, however, and started looking for a TD. Masvidal broke free and the fight returned to the center of the Octagon. Masvidal planted a right hand as Usman pressured. As the round ended, Usman had Masvidal against the fence.
In between rounds, Usman appeared to be the fresher of the fighters. Usman tried taking Masvidal down moments into the second round, and ‘Gamebred’ defended. As the clinch battle continued, Masvidal had a cut opened up by an accidental head butt. Usman continued to dig to the body in the clinch and stomp on Masvidal’s feet.
Late in the frame, Masvidal fired in a nice combo.
Masvidal was breathing heavy between round while Usman wasn’t. The champ clinched up and started going with more foot stomps. Masvidal broke free momentarily, and fired in several shots, but Usman clinched up again. The fight was stopped momentarily after Jorge took a glancing shot low.
Moments later, Usman countered Masvidal nicely with a takedown. ‘Gamebred’ got back up but was promptly taken down again. The champ fired down some shots from above before the round ended.
Usman quickly clinched up in round four. Masvidal defended, but in a follow-up exchange, Usman briefly took him down again. Usman continued to look for a TD but Masvidal pushed him back with a series of strikes. Usman planted a hard left and clinched up again.
Usman pressured forward in round five and took Masvidal down around the one minute mark. Usman fired in some shots from above, and maintained the top position. As Masvidal attempted to scramble out, Usman started hunting for a choke, but ‘Gamebred’ got back to his feet. The latter tried landing big shots before the final horn went, but it was too little, too late.
All three judges scored the fight for Kamaru Usman.
UFC 251 results
Here are the complete results for UFC 251 , which took place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45)
Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via TKO (punches) R5, 3:24
Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant via submission (armbar) R1, 2:21
Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oezdemir via KO (punch) R2, 0:49
Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via technical submission (anaconda choke) R1, 3:15
Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision (29-26. 29-26, 29-26)
Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Davey Grant def. Martin Day via KO (punch) R3, 2:38