The first ever event on UFC’s Fight Island is going to make a big splash with the announcement that it will feature no less than three title fights at welterweight, featherweight and bantamweight.
The show, which is reportedly taking place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, will be headlined by a welterweight title clash between current champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns.
Usman is currently the king of the hill at 170lbs after racking up 11 wins in a row since joining the UFC back in 2015. Along the way he’s defeated a number of other major players in the division, including victories over the likes of Damien Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Tyron Woodley and most recently Colby Covington to firmly establish himself as the undisputed champion.
Burns is one of the fastest rising title challengers in recent times, having compiled a six-fight unbeaten stretch in less than two years to book his shot at the belt.
The Brazilian’s recent resume includes wins over the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley, which has helped him leapfrog other leading contenders like Jorge Masvidal in order to secure the fight with Usman.
In the co-main event, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski heads into an immediate rematch with the man he dethroned at the top of the division, Max Holloway.
The two fought late last year and Volkanovski stunned the long-time champion by dominating him en-route to a decision victory, extending his unbeaten run since joining the UFC to eight fights.
Holloway had been on a 14-fight winning streak at featherweight prior to that loss though, so he’s been granted the opportunity to run it back again on this star-studded fight card.
As if that wasn’t enough, UFC 251 will also feature a third title fight as Jose Aldo and Petr Yan fight for the vacant bantamweight title.
Aldo had previously been set to fight Henry Cejudo for the title back in May, but was forced out of the bout due to VISA issues, and Cejudo has since vacated the belt.
Now Aldo fights Yan instead, and it seems only fair that the Russian should get this opportunity given that he’s impressed during his six-fight winning run in the UFC to date, which included a KO finish against Urijah Faber last time out.
All in all it’s a formidable line-up that the UFC has assembled here, especially given the trying circumstances they face at the moment during the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that it will be the first show on Fight Island adds even more spice to the occasion, making it a must-see for MMA fans.