Jorge Masvidal will again try to dethrone welterweight champion Kamaru Usman tonight, as the rivals clash in the main event of UFC 261 in front of 15,000 fans inside a full-capacity Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Masvidal (35-14) stepped in on six days’ notice last July to challenge Usman (18-1) on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi after the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’s original opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for coronavirus. After a bright start, Masvidal quickly faded and was easily outpointed by Usman on all three judges’ scorecards, the champion’s wrestling ensuring a straightforward victory. ‘Gamebred’ has since insisted that a full training camp would be enough for him to defeat Usman, who is on a 17-fight win streak, and tonight he has his chance to prove it in his home state.
The returning fans will also witness two other title fights, as Weili Zhang defends her strawweight title against former champion Rose Namajunas in the co-main event, while Jessica Andrade – another former strawweight titleholder – challenges flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko. Both clashes have the potential to overshadow the main event, on what could be another defining night in women’s MMA. Follow live updates from the UFC 261 prelims and main card below.
A defining night for women’s MMA?
The 15,000 fans in attendance will also watch Valentina Shevchenko put her flyweight gold on the line against former strawweight titleholder Jessica Andrade.
This week, Zhang spoke toThe Independent about the status of women’s MMA ahead of her highly-anticipated title defence:
Alex Pattle24 April 2021 22:53
Masvidal’s last chance
Masvidal’s “resurrection” has lasted two years, but there is no guarantee of ascension as the Florida native rematches Usman with the welterweight title on the line again tonight. Here’s The Independent’s preview of the UFC 261 main event:
Alex Pattle24 April 2021 22:50
What time does UFC 261 start?
The UK start time for UFC 261, as well as the schedule for the prelims and early prelims, is right here:
Alex Pattle24 April 2021 22:47
How to watch UFC 261
Here’s all the important info around how to watch UFC 261:
Alex Pattle24 April 2021 22:46
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of UFC 261!
Alex Pattle24 April 2021 22:44