Marc RaimondiESPN Workers Writer
A welterweight title fight in between champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal was the July big-show key occasion that the UFC wanted all alongside. It took a little bit of a meandering route to get there, but now the blockbuster matchup is at last official.
Usman and Masvidal both weighed in successfully at one hundred seventy pounds on Friday in Abu Dhabi. The two will fulfill in the UFC 251 headliner Saturday on Yas Island, which has been dubbed “Combat Island” for a monthlong slate of UFC functions.
The combat came collectively only in the previous 7 times. Gilbert Burns, who was Usman’s scheduled opponent, tested good for COVID-19 on July 3, just several hours prior to the UFC constitution was set to go away Las Vegas for Abu Dhabi. In excess of the weekend, the UFC was able to occur to conditions with Masvidal, who balked at the promotion’s preliminary offer for the fight two months in the past.
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Usman is tied with middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya for sixth on ESPN’s prime pound-for-pound MMA fighter record. Masvidal is No. 2 at welterweight, just beneath Usman.
Usman (16-one) has never dropped in the UFC — a streak of 11 straight victories — and has not shed given that his 2nd pro combat in 2011. The 33-year-aged Nigerian, who resides in Florida, very last fought at UFC 245 in December — a fifth-round TKO over Colby Covington in what is the most current UFC title-combat finish at any time. That was Usman’s to start with title defense.
Masvidal (35-13) has received three straight, all by knockout or TKO. He has forty eight pro fights, the 2nd greatest complete ever for anyone earning a UFC title fight debut. The 35-year-aged Miami native stopped Darren Until, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in just an eight-month span last year, making him 1 of the best fighters on the UFC roster.
Alexander Volkanovski in opposition to previous champ Max Holloway. Both equally fighters built body weight at one hundred forty five lbs. Volkanovski (21-1) defeat Holloway (21-5) to earn the title at UFC 245 in December.
Previous featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Petr Yan will square off for the bantamweight title remaining vacant by the retired Henry Cejudo. Aldo, in just his next profession combat at bantamweight, weighed a hundred thirty five pounds, the exact as his opponent. Aldo (28-6) is on a two-combat losing streak but is considered a person of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters at any time. Yan (fourteen-one) is six- in the UFC.
Raulian Paiva skipped bodyweight, coming in at 129 lbs for his flyweight fight versus Zhalgas Zhumagulov, who created pounds at 126 pounds. An formal determination pertaining to that combat has nevertheless to be designed.
Vanessa Melo also missed body weight, coming in at 141 pounds for her bantamweight battle. Her opponent, Karol Rosa, properly produced pounds.