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UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Results

Live Results, Winner Interviews And More From UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2, Live From VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena In Jacksonville, Florida

UFC welcomes back fans at full capacity when it returns to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. on April 24 with a stacked card headlined by three championship bouts. The main event will see a thrilling welterweight championship rematch when Kamaru Usman defends against No. 4 ranked contender Jorge Masvidal. Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko goes for her fifth consecutive title defense against No. 1 ranked contender Jessica Andrade. In a highly anticipated women’s strawweight championship bout, Zhang Weili faces former champion and No. 1 ranked contender Rose Namajunas.

UFC 261: USMAN vs. MASVIDAL 2 will take place Saturday, April 24 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Early prelims will stream on ESPN+ in English and Spanish beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT along with UFC Fight Pass, with ESPN2 joining programming in progress at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. The prelims will continue on ESPN+ and simulcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the ESPN+ Pay-Per-View main card will kick off at 10 p.m. ET/7p.m. PT.

No. 3 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter Usman (18-1, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Auchi, Nigeria) kicked off his 2021 campaign with an impressive TKO win over former teammate Gilbert Burns in February. On top of besting Masvidal in their first encounter last July, Usman has also delivered sensational victories against Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley and Rafael Dos Anjos. Usman now has his sights set on securing his fourth title defense by proving his first win over Masvidal was no fluke.

Masvidal (35-14, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) looks to make good on his second 170-pound title opportunity by delivering another highlight-reel finish. Owner of the fastest KO in UFC history at six seconds over Ben Askren in 2019, he has also delivered spectacular stoppage wins against Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone and Darren Till. Masvidal now aims to even the score with Usman and capture the UFC welterweight championship.

No. 2 women’s pound-for-pound fighter Shevchenko (20-3, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) is gunning to continue her dominant title reign against one of her toughest tests to date. Undefeated since moving to flyweight in 2018, she holds memorable stoppage victories against Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica Eye and Priscila Cachoeira. Shevchenko now hopes to add another former UFC champion to her resume and prove she is undoubtably the top women’s flyweight in the world.

Former strawweight champion and No. 5 women’s pound-for-pound fighter Andrade (21-8, fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) immediately made an impact upon moving to the flyweight division by delivering a vicious TKO win over top contender Katlyn Chookagian in October. She has also earned exciting victories against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Tecia Torres and Claudia Gadelha. Andrade now vies to become only the second female fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate divisions.

This bout will mark No. 3 women’s pound-for-pound fighter Zhang’s (21-1, fighting out of Beijing, China) first appearance since her 2020 Fight of the Year win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk one year ago. Currently riding a 21-fight win streak, she has also secured notable victories against Tecia Torres, Jessica Aguilar and Danielle Taylor since joining the UFC roster in 2018. Zhang now looks to take out another high-profile former titleholder to continue her run at the top of the strawweight division.

No. 4 women’s pound-for-pound fighter Namajunas (10-4, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) is gunning to become the first ever two-time champion in UFC strawweight history. Originally featured as a cast member on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, Namajunas has delivered impressive wins over Joanna Jedrzejczyk (twice), Michelle Waterson and Paige VanZant. Namajunas now aims to become the first fighter to defeat Zhang in almost eight years to reclaim the 115-pound belt.

 

What time is UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2? 

  • Main Card: 10pm ET / 7pm PT
  • Prelims: 8pm ET / 5pm PT
  • Early Prelims: 5:30pm ET / 2:30pm PT

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Results 

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Early Prelims 

Liang Na vs Ariane Carnelossi

With the crowd roaring as if it were a main event, strawweights Ariane Carnelossi and Liang Na put on a show in the opener, with Carnelossi getting the win via second-round TKO.

China’s Liang (15-5) drilled Carnelossi with a right hand as the bout began, and after a wild scramble, she got the fight to the mat. With a minute gone, the fight returned to the feet and the two slugged it out before Liang took Carnelossi down.

The action remained furious on the canvas, with Liang slamming her foe before Carnelossi scrambled her way into the top position. Liang nearly locked in an armbar, but Carnelossi (13-2) pulled free. In the closing minute. Liang landed some hard strikes, only to nearly get caught in a triangle by the Brazilian, who then landed a series of hard strikes that left Liang in trouble as the round ended.

Ariane Carnelossi Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Ariane Carnelossi Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Ariane Carnelossi talks about her TKO win at UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2.


Liang came out fast for round two, but soon fatigue set in and Carnelossi went on the attack on the ground, with another series of unanswered blows bringing in referee James Folsom to halt the fight at 1:28 of the second round.

Official result – Ariane Carnelossi def. Liang Na via TKO (strikes) at 1:28 of round two | Official Scorecards

Aoriqileng vs Jeffrey Molina

Debuting flyweights Jeff Molina and Aoriqileng put on an early Fight of the Night candidate with a 15-minute war won by Molina via unanimous decision.

Scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 for Molina, now 9-2. Aoriqileng falls to 18-7.

After some heated exchanges in the early going, China’s Aoriqileng scored a takedown midway through the opening round, and while Molina got up quickly, his foe remained locked on against the fence. In the final minute, the two separated, Molina getting in some shots before the horn sounded.

Jeffery Molina Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Jeffery Molina Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Jeffery Molina talks about his decision win at UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2


Aoriqileng continued to pressure Molina as round two opened, but both fighters were getting their shots in. As the round progressed, Aoriqileng’s right hand often found the mark, but with a little over two minutes left, the two traded flash knockdowns, and in the closing stages of the frame, the fighters again went for it, with Molina scoring another knockdown late.

Despite Aoriqileng’s relentless march forward, Molina met him every step of the way and upped the ante with a barrage of strikes that broke open a close fight emphatically, even though Aoriqileng rocked Molina at the end of the bout.

Official result – Jeff Molina def. Aoriqileng via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) | Official Scorecards

Kazula Vargas vs Rongzhu

Mexico City’s Kazula Vargas scored his first UFC victory in his third try, outpointing 21-year-old Chinese newcomer Rongzhu in lightweight action.

Scores were 30-26, 29-28, 29-28 for Vargas, now 12-4. Rongzhu falls to 17-4.

Vargas had a solid first round, as his busy attack kept him a step ahead of Rongzhu, who got in a few shots, but not enough to deter the Mexican.

Kazula Vargas Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Kazula Vargas Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Kazula Vargas talks about his decision win at UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2.


In the opening moments of the second round, the fight went to the mat with Vargas locking in a tight guillotine choke. Rongzhu refused to give in, and after a long stretch in trouble, he got free, only to get caught in the same choke. Again, Rongzhu escaped, and this time he took Vargas’ back, but Vargas escaped the position and got into his foe’s guard until the two stood.

Rongzhu’s striking was finally on target in the final round, as he stung Vargas a couple times and nearly scored a knockdown as well. Vargas came back strong, but a late takedown with some ground strikes ended the bout on a high note for the youngest fighter on the current UFC roster.

Official result – Kazula Vargas def. Rongzhu via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28) | Official Scorecards

Danaa Batgerel vs Kevin Natividad

Mongolian power hitter Danaa Batgerel scored another big knockout in his bantamweight bout against Kevin Natividad, halting his foe in less than a minute.

Danaa Batgerel of Mongolia punches Kevin Natividad in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Danaa Batgerel of Mongolia punches Kevin Natividad in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

After a brief feeling out process, Batgerel lowered the boom with a left hook that dropped Natividad hard to the mat. A follow-up series of strikes brought in referee Herb Dean to stop the fight 50 seconds into the bout.

Official result – Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via TKO (strikes) at :50 of round one | Official Scorecards

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Prelims

 

Pat Sabatini vs Tristan Connelly

Featherweight newcomer Pat Sabatini picked up a win in his Octagon debut, defeating Canadian veteran Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision.

Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Sabatini, now 14-3. Connelly falls to 14-7.

A short right by Sabatini floored Connelly in the opening minute, and the Philadelphian began working his ground game, eventually taking the Canadian’s back. And though Connelly defended well, it was a clear round for Sabatini.

Pat Sabatini Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Pat Sabatini Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Sabatini continued to lead the action in the second stanza as he scored a slick takedown and smoothly moved from position to position until he took the back again and put another round in the bank. Connelly tried to turn things around in the final frame, but it was not to be, as Sabatini held off the late charge to get the victory.

Official result – Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) | Official Scorecards

Karl Roberson vs Brendan Allen

In a clash of middleweights, Brendan Allen submitted Karl Roberson in the first round.

Brendan Allen Earns Straight Ankle Lock Finish | UFC 261
Brendan Allen Earns Straight Ankle Lock Finish | UFC 261
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Brendan Allen secures a heel hook submission win at UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2


Taking no chances with Roberson’s striking game, Allen got the fight to the mat in the second minute of the bout, and he proceeded to dominate the action until locking in the straight ankle lock that forced a tap out at 4:55 of round one.

Brendan Allen Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Brendan Allen Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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With the win, Allen moves to 16-4. Roberson falls to 9-4.

Official result – Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via submission (straight ankle) at 4:55 of round one | Official Scorecards

Dwight Grant vs Stefan Sekulic

In welterweight action, Dwight Grant won a three-round split decision over Stefan Sekulic.

The judges saw it 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 for Grant, now 11-3. Sekulic, who was making his first start since September 2018, falls to 12-4.

Grant kept the fight standing for much of the first round even though there wasn’t much significant scoring being done. Sekulic did get a takedown in the final minute, though, a good way for him to end the round.

Dwight Grant Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Dwight Grant Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Getting busier in the second, Grant got a rise out of the crowd when he landed some hard shots and avoided Sekulic’s takedown attempts. But with under two minutes to go, it was Sekulic hitting his mark as he put Grant on the mat. Grant got back to his feet quickly, but he got locked up against the fence before he was able to even the score.

Grant got his own takedown to start the third round, and after landing a few shots, he got back to his feet. Sekulic returned the favor with a takedown midway through the round, but the fighters didn’t stay there long. While standing, Sekulic landed some solid shots, including a big left in the final minute that led to a guillotine choke that nearly finished the bout.

Official result – Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) | Official Scorecards

Alex Oliveira vs Randy Brown

New York welterweight Randy Brown was impressive in picking up his seventh UFC victory, as he submitted Brazil’s Alex Oliveira in the first round.

Oliveira’s repeated kicks to the leg were giving Brown some issues as the fight began, but a sizzling right hand by “Rudeboy” dropped Oliveira in the second minute and nearly put an end to the fight. Oliveira recovered quickly, but as the two rose, Brown sunk in a rear naked choke and forced a tap out at 2:50 of round one.

Brown moves to 13-4 with the win. Oliveira falls to 22-10-1, 2 NC

Official result – Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:50 of round one | Official Scorecards

UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2 Main Card

 

Anthony Smith vs Jimmy Crute

What was shaping up to be an interesting light heavyweight bout ended prematurely when a kick to the leg by Anthony Smith left fellow contender Jimmy Crute unable to continue, leaving Smith with a first-round TKO victory.

Anthony Smith Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Anthony Smith Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Smith’s jabs were sharp in the opening stages of the fight, while Crute got off with some thudding kicks to the leg. With under two minutes to go in the first round, Smith threw a right hand into the mix and jarred the Aussie up and comer, and a kick to the leg by Smith dropped Crute. Crute recovered quickly and fired off ground strikes, but it was clear his ankle was bothering him when he stood.

After a look from the doctor, though, the fight was stopped, with Crute unable to stand on his injured leg.

With the win, the No.6-ranked Smith moves to 35-16. The No.13-ranked Crute falls to 12-2.

Official result – Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round one | Official Scorecards

Uriah Hall vs Chris Weidman

A freak leg injury prematurely ended the middleweight rematch between Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman, with Hall winning via TKO

The first kick Weidman threw ended the fight immediately, as he broke his leg and fell to the canvas. The official time of referee Herb Dean’s stoppage was :17 of round one.

Uriah Hall Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Uriah Hall Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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The No.9-ranked Hall moves to 18-9 with the win. The No.11-ranked Weidman falls to 15-6. The two first met in 2010, with Weidman winning via TKO.

Official result – Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman via TKO (injury) at :17 of round one | Official Scorecards

Women's Flyweight Title Bout: Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Andrade

The UFC’s most dominant champion turned back the challenger expected to be her toughest test, as Valentina Shevchenko successfully defended her flyweight title for the fifth time with a dominant second-round stoppage of Jessica Andrade.

After opening the fight behind her striking attack, Shevchenko surprised Andrade with a trio of takedowns. None kept Andrade grounded for long, but Shevchenko kept the heat on with more pinpoint strikes followed by another takedown. This time, Shevchenko looked for a choke, and though Andrade got loose and back to her feet, “Bullet” stayed locked on to her against the fence as the crowd chanted her name, and she added another takedown before the horn sounded to end the round.

Valentina Shevchenko Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Valentina Shevchenko Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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Shevchenko put the fight right back on the mat to start the second round, with a pair of takedowns extending the champion’s lead. The second time around, Shevchenko caught Andrade in the crucifix position and unloaded strikes until referee Dan Miragliotta halted the fight at 3:19 of round two.

With the win, Shevchenko moves to 21-3. The No.1-ranked Andrade falls to 21-9.

Official result – Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Andrade via TKO (strikes) at 3:19 of round two | Official Scorecards

Co-Main Event & Women's Strawweight Title Bout: Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas

While being introduced by Bruce Buffer, Rose Namajunas chanted “I’m the best,” to herself, and in 78 seconds, she proved it, as she knocked out Zhang Weili to regain the UFC strawweight title. 

Rose Namajunas Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Rose Namajunas Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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After the two fighters moved around the Octagon to get acclimated to the Octagon, Namajunas landed a flush left kick to the head that dropped Zhang hard to the mat. Namjunas went in for the finish and after a couple hammerfists, she got it, with referee Keith Peterson stepping in at 1:18 of round one.

With the win, Namajunas, who first held the 115-pound title from 2017 to 2019, moves to 11-4. Zhang falls to 21-2.

Official result – Rose Namajunas def. Zhang Weili via KO at 1:18 of round one | Official Scorecards

Main Event & Welterweight Title Bout: Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal

After a decision win over Jorge Masvidal last year, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman ran it back with “Gamebred” in the main event of UFC 261, and this time, he didn’t need the judges to get involved, as a second-round knockout emphatically ended their rivalry.

Masvidal fired off leg kicks to start the bout, but Usman got the first big shot off, drilling the challenger with a right hand. Masvidal shook off the blow but after a missed knee, he was taken down by the champion. Masvidal stayed busy with elbows from the bottom and he mae it back to his feet with a little over a minute to go. Usman landed a couple more flush shots, answered by a knee at the end of the round.

Kamaru Usman Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
Kamaru Usman Post-Fight Interview | UFC 261
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And while Masvidal was smiling and confident as the second round began, Usman closed the show in devastating fashion, with a crushing right hand that dropped Masvidal to the canvas. A couple follow-up shots later, the bout was over, as referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at the 1:02 mark of round two.

With the win, Usman moves to 19-1 as he successfully defended his title for the fourth time. Masvidal falls to 35-15.

Official result – Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via KO at 1:02 of round two | Official Scorecards