UFC 251 Recap and Future Predictions

Goodbye UFC Apex. Hello Fight Island! UFC 251 was an exciting card from the early preliminaries to the main card. The main card was stacked with 3 title bouts. With basic information out of the way lets get into the fights.

Results

  • Amanda Ribas finished Paige VanZant via Submission
  • Rose Namajunas defeated Jessica Andrade via Split Decision
  • Petr Yan finished Jose Aldo via TKO
  • Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway via Split Decision
  • Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision

Amanda Ribas spoils return of PVZ

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Amanda Ribas of Brazil secures an arm bar submission against Paige VanZant in their flyweight fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This fight was not the return Paige VanZant wanted as this fight was over quickly. The fight-ending sequence started after a small scramble after Ribas threw a kick which ended to a clinch which led them to the ground. After a while, Ribas got ahold of VanZant’s arm which led to Riba’s getting an Armbar. This extends Ribas’ win streak to 5. What’s next for the fighters?

  • Amanda Ribas
    • Yan Xiaonan
  • Paige VanZant
    • Free Agency

Rose Namajunas avenges former loss to Jessica Andrade

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Rose Namajunas punches Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their strawweight fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Rose Namajunas finally got the rematch with Jessica Andrade, but it wasn’t for the title like she expected. However, instead of being slammed to the canvas, Namajunas fought smart. She learned from her mistake of letting Andrade getting too close so she threw strikes from a distance. She threw perfect jabs, solid straights, and slick counters if Andrade ever got close. The judges scored the fight 29–28 x 2, and 28–29 in favor of Namajunas. This fight extends Andrade’s losing streak to 2. What’s next?

  • Rose Namajunas
    • Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Jessica Andrade
    • Tatiana Suarez

Petr Yan withstands brutal leg kicks to finish Jose Aldo

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Petr Yan of Russia punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This fight kicked off the trio of title fights and it did a great job doing so. The fight was neck and neck but it was until the championship rounds where we saw Yan take the offensive to Aldo. Yan withstood Aldo’s vicious leg kicks in the prior rounds before hitting Aldo with a powerful bomb that sent Aldo to the canvas with no choice but to cover up and take the TKO loss. This bout extends Aldo’s losing streak to 3 and extends Yan’s winning streak to 10 and crowning him the new Bantamweight champion. What’s next?

  • Petr Yan
    • Aljamain Sterling
  • Jose Aldo
    • Dominick Cruz

Alexander Volkanovski gets close win in rematch with Max Holloway

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This fight was perhaps the most exciting title bout out of the three. From the get-go, we could tell we were in for a different bout than the first. Immediately we could tell Max Holloway was a different fighter taking the first two rounds with knockdowns in each round respectively. However, This led to a rally sequence by Volkanovski in the latter half of the fight which led to a score of 48-47 x 2 and 47-48 in favor of Volkanovski which many on Twitter found controversial. This bout extends Volkanovski’s win streak to 19 and extends Holloway’s losing skid to 2, with both losses coming from the Australian. Who’s Next?

  • Alexander Volkanovski
    • The Korean Zombie
  • Max Holloway
    • Winner of Kattar/Ige

Kamaru puts on grappling clinic over Jorge Masvidal

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This fight was the one everyone wanted to see. However, it wasn’t the fight they were expecting. Many expected a quick and exciting finish by Jorge Masvidal to cement his position of Welterweight champ. Many were wrong, Masvidal started the bout with blazing speed, landing strikes in a blink of an eye. However what happened next foreshadowed the rest of the bout, Usman caught and negated his strikes by taking him down quickly and controlling Masvidal. Usman put on a clinic showcasing his wrestling, his clinch work, and dirty boxing to negate and wear down Masvidal. The domination earned Usman a score of 50–45 x 2, and 49–46. This bout extends Usman’s win streak to 16 and ends Masvidal’s win streak of 3. What’s next for the Welterweights?

  • Kamaru Usman
    • Gilbert Burns
  • Jorge Masvidal
    • Leon Edwards

Up Next!

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The UFC is back on Fight Island on Wednesday with a main event Featherweight fight between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige. They are co-lined alongside Flyweights Tim Elliot and Ryan Benoit.

Follow me on Twitter at @SamJaureguiMMA and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content!

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SamJauregui
Fan of Combat Sports, Video Games, Music and Memes

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