Kamaru Usman successfully defended his welterweight title tonight at UFC 251 on Fight Island as he outgrappled Jorge Masvidal for much of the fight to earn a unanimous decision victory.
The main event welterweight title fight is underway on Fight Island!
Leg kick from Masvidal. Now a push kick and another couple of kicks behind it. However, another kick proves one too many as it gives Usman an opportunity to catch it and take him down in the center of the Octagon.
Elbow strike from Usman from inside Masvidal’s guard. Usman postures up over Masvidal and the challenger throws a flurry of slapping strikes from his back. usman readjusts, but Masvidal is able to find his way back to his feet.
Masvidal back to being aggressive on the feet. He lands a strike to the body. There’s a clinch and Masvidal lands a nice knee to the body.
Usman puts out the jab and moves into the takedown attempt against the cage. He gets Masvidal to one knee, then lands a punch to the head as they go upright again. Usman staying in the clinch though. Usman landing a knee to the body. Now a couple of the legs.
Masvidal with a knee to the body and a nice little hook as he escapes the clinch. Kick for Masvidal and a punch too.
Masvidal with a nice hook. Jab for Usman. Another jab for Usman, but good counter from Masvidal.
Overhand right for Masvidal. Now a solid right hand stops Usman from moving in. Masvidal with his back against the cage now, but still lands a front kick to the body. Usman lands to the body.
Low leg kick from Masvidal. Now a solid body kick. Body punch for Usman. Now Usman grabbing a leg and trying for a takedown, but it doesn’t pay off.
Usman in again on a takedown attempt against the cage this time. Masvidal doing a very good job of using his balance to stay up. Usman continuing to apply pressure in the clinch and landing foot stomps.
Knees being exchanged, more foot stomps from Usman and a body punch too. They almost separate, but Usman presses Masvidal again to the cage. Usman lands a nice punch.
Back to the clinch position again with Usman landing short knees to the legs. Body strike lands too. A couple more punches to the body land. Foot stomps in there too along with the body work. Now hammerfists to the thigh and a shoulder strike.
Two more shoulder bumps from Usman. Usman backs up and lands a left hand. Inside leg kick for Masvidal, punches to the body and head. Masvidal with a right hook now. He’s throwing with everything he’s got when he gets the chance.
Masvidal with a leg kick. Inside leg kick for him. Grazing right hand and then a body kick. Usman with a body punch and then trying to get into the clinch, landing an elbow as he does so.
Usman with foot stomps. Now a body punch. Another lands. Masvidal works his way out of the clinch and lands a big body kick.
Usman back into the clinch trying for a takedown. He settles for landing a few knees to the leg. There’s a low blow to Masvidal and it forces a brief stoppage.
Front kick to the body on the restart from Masvidal. He tries for an overhand, but Usman moves back out of danger. Leg kick for Masvidal.
Masvidal tries to time a stepping punch, but Usman sees it coming and moves into a takedown attempt that pays off. Masvidal with his back against the cage though and is able to stand up.
Not for long though as Usman lands a big takedown and is now in side control. Masvidal with a good scramble, but Usman stays calm and stays on top.
Final 10 seconds of the round and Usman lands some elbows and punches.
Body punch from Usman. Now a leg kick. Usman drives into the clinch against the cage. Body punches and hammerfists to the leg from the champion.
Knee to the body from Masvidal. Usman staying busy with foot stomps, body punches and shoulder shrugs.
Usman briefly out of the clinch, but then drives back in and takes Masvidal down. Masvidal back up quickly, but Usman is working around to his back and landing knee strikes as he does so.
Back to the conventional clinch position against the cage now. Usman tries for a takedown, doesn’t get it, but then changes to landing a short flurry of punches instead.
Masvidal manages to punch his way out of the clinch and landing elbows too. masvidal tries for a spinning backfist but it misses. Body kick for Masvidal. Jab from Usman.
Right hand from Masvidal. Body kick from him. Usman thinks about a takedown, but then lands a couple of nice punches instead. Hard left lands for Usman and then into the clinch again.
Usman continues to go on the grind against the cage for the remainder of the round.
Body punch for Usman. Jab for the champion now. Grazing left hook and now a body punch. Usman lands a good punch to the head and Masvidal lands a harder counter punch.
Usman in on a takedown and lands it. He’s in Masvidal’s guard now with most of the round remaining.
Usman lands a nice elbow. Masvidal trying to work something from his back, but there’s nothing doing and Usman is in side control now.
Short elbow from Usman. He’s trying to move to mount, but Masvidal scrambles to avoid that and goes to his knees. Usman looking to threaten with a choke now. Usman being cautious and manages to gradually work to his feet against the cage.
Final 30 seconds and Masvidal lands a couple of hard knees to the body. Now a punch to the head and kicks. Masvidal with a flying knee attempt. Credit to him for trying to get something going here even though he’s tired, but he can’t find the finish he needs.
No doubt about the winner then, with Usman grinding his way to a unanimous decision victory (50-45 x2, 49-46) against his short notice rival.