The crowds might not have been there, but it didn’t make a difference as UFC 251 delivered in Abu Dhabi on Fight Island.
One of the few major sporting events to happen during the Coronavirus, the UFC went to amazing levels to put on UFC 251. They built and created an octagon on the beach on Yas Island. And staffed by thousands, they put on a safe and very secure event. And like all good fighter, they had to roll with the punches, even having to replace main fighter Burns after he tested positive for Coronavirus.
The lead title fight was won by Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman with a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. Usman won the fight round hug-fest thanks to his tight clinch-work and wrestling skills. But Masvidal, all bloody and bruised, was quick to demand a re-match.
Twists and turns
While the lead fight was pretty decent, the best action had already occurred on the other two title fights.
Alexander Volkanovski had a bruising battle with former champion Max Holloway and edged a split decision after five rounds. And the decision angered many fans and fighters, keen to highlight that Holloway actually won the first three rounds!
And Russian bantamweight Petr Yan put in nearly 200 strikes as he took apart the former featherweight champion Jose Aldo to take the bantamweight title.
In truth, Yan should have been stopped earlier in the fifth round by the referee after some brutal ground-and-pound action.
UFC Fight Island continues with more fights and shows this Wednesday, Sunday and then on July 26.