UFC 251: Kamoru Usman Retains Title BY Defeating Masvidal
The Nigerian American mixed martial artist Kamoru Usman has retained the UFC 251 belt after beating Jorge Masvidal early this morning (local time). Though, Masvidal stepped up for the game just six day's notice to face off with UFC welterweight champion on Kamaru Usman.
However, Usman showed his championship skills over five rounds, neutralizing the always-dangerous Masvidal on his way to a wide unanimous decision victory in the main event of UFC 251 from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Masvidal came out strong in the opening round, throwing flurries of fast strikes and popping up from an early Usman takedown. But Usman took over the fight from the second round on, using a grueling clinch game to neutralize the striking threat of Masvidal. Without the benefit of a full camp, it was clear the pace and style of the fight had wore Masvidal down and he had less and less offense to offer as the minutes ticked by.
The level of dominance shown by Usman can be summed up in two simple post-fight statistics. Usman landed 263 strikes to just 88 for Masvidal. And more than 10 of the 25 minutes of the fight were spent with Usman having control of the clinch. The final scorecards read 50-45, 59-46 and 49-46, all for Usman.
Following his victory, Usman seemed slightly disappointed in not getting the finish, but gave Masvidal credit.
"Gamebred is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now," Usman said. "I had to change gears to face him on six day's notice. I trained for Gilbert [Burns]. I had a totally different gameplan. That's no excuse. Gameberd is tough."
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