The most anticipated MMA event of the summer was thrown a massive curveball, but UFC 251 ultimately may have gotten its rightful main event after all. In a new main event that has fans all over excited, Kamaru Usman will put his welterweight title up for grabs against Jorge Masvidal in the main event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, July 11, after Gilbert Burns tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.
There’s still many hurdles to clear (just like the rest of the fight card) including three more COVID-19 tests, but the fight was officially announced by the promotion late Sunday night as the new main event for Fight Island.
With 48 career fights under his belt, Masvidal would serve as the fighter with the most MMA appearances before receiving his first title shot.
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That’s not all there is to be excited about on Saturday night as UFC is giving us not one, not two, but three title fights. In the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway will run back their battle from December with the featherweight title on the line. Volkanovski became the first man to beat Holloway at 145 pounds since Conor McGregor in 2013. Plus, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo lock up for the bantamweight title left vacant when Henry Cejudo abruptly retired in May.
Not only that, but a pair of important and intriguing women’s fights fill out the rest of the PPV main card. A rematch of former strawweight champs is on deck when Rose Namajunas takes on Jessica Andrade. Andrade won the title from Namajunas in May 2019 with a vicious slam knockout in Brazil. She then lost the belt to current champ Weili Zhang. Plus, Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant kicks off the PPV card in a flyweight bout. It has been reported to be the last fight on VanZant’s current contract with the company.
It’s shaping up to be a busy week at Fight Island, and CBS Sports will be with you throughout the week to help keep track of all the events going down with our guide. Below, you can find links to all of our feature and countdown stories, as well as predictions and picks for each main card bout at UFC 251. Be sure to check in throughout the week for the latest updates and news from Abu Dhabi.
Let’s take a look at the complete fight card for UFC 251, including the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC 251 fight card
- Kamaru Usman (c) -260 vs. Jorge Masvidal +200 — Welterweight title
- Alex Volkanovski (c) -240 vs. Max Holloway +200 — Featherweight title
- Petr Yan -240 vs. Jose Aldo +200 — Vacant bantamweight title
- Rose Namajunas -200 vs. Jéssica Andrade +170 — Women’s strawweights
- Amanda Ribas -800 vs. Paige VanZant +550 — Women’s flyweights
- Volkan Oezdemir -170 vs. Jiří Procházka +145 — Light heavyweights
- Muslim Salikhov -130 vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos +110 — Welterweights
- Makwan Amirkhani -195 vs. Dan Henry +165 — Featherweights
- Leonardo Santos -190 vs. Roman Bogatov +160 — Lightweights
- Marcin Tybura -110 vs. Maxim Grishin -110 — Heavyweights
- Raulian Paiva -180 vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov +155 — Flyweights
- Karol Rosa -230 vs. Vanessa Melo +190 — Women’s bantamweights
- Martin Day -190 vs. Davey Grant +160 — Bantamweights
UFC 251 info
- Date: July 11
- Location: Yas Island — Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV