Yawn. UFC 251 took place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi Saturday and the consensus after Kamaru Usman's victory over Jorge Masvidal in the main event was that it was about as boring as two guys beating the hell out of each other can be.
Not that there was a ton of beating going on. Usman maintained dominance for much of the match with a somewhat minimalist approach built on sustained holds and punishing Masvidal's legs. The welterweights went the full five rounds, though—and credit to Masvidal for stepping in on six days' notice and still going the distance—but Usman won in a no-brainer of a decision win.
Fans were not thrilled, and plenty of them tweeted about it. One of the main problems was Usman's workmanlike approach. He's not a flashy showboater like Conor McGregor, to say the least.
When asked about criticism of his approach to the fight, however, Kamaru Usman had an answer that expressed respect for his opponent and also just made a good point: "Maybe they need to get in there and fight Jorge Masvidal for 25 minutes."
In comments after the match, Masvidal said that there "were some areas where I felt with a better training camp I could definitely surpass him."
"I think I showed a lot of my wrestling on six days' notice," he continued, "that I'm not too easy to take down and to hold down on the ground. I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to fight in spots, because I felt that my gas tank wasn't the greatest."
You can watch the post-fight presser in the following video.
Here are the full results for every card:
- Kamaru Usman wins over Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision
- Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway (split decision)
- Petr Yan beat Jose Aldo by fifth-round TKO
- Rose Namajunas defeated Jessica Andrade in a split decision
- Amanda Ribas won against Paige VanZant by submission in round 1
- Jiri Prochazka won against Volkan Oezdemir with a second-round KO
- Muslim Salikhov defeated Elizeu dos Santos in a split decision
- Makwan Amirkhani took out Danny Henry by first-round submission
- Leonardo Santos beat Roman Bogatov by unanimous decision
Early Preliminary Card
- Marcin Tybura defeated Maxim Grishin
- Raulian Paiva won over Zhalgas Zhumagulov
- Karol Rosa beat Vanessa Melo
- Davey Grant took Martin Day with a third-round knockout
Dana White's UFC is undefeated in figuring out new angles for more publicity—like making an entire documentary about the creation of Fight Island after the worldwide coronavirus pandemic threatened to shut down pro sports in general.
Watch the first 15-minute episode of The Making of UFC Fight Island in the video above.
At the moment, UFC 252 is set to feature Stipe Miocic vs. former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. It is supposed to take place not on FIght Island but at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas on August 15, 2020.