Usman defeats Masvidal to defend title in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island
UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defended his title with a unanimous decision victory against Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi at UFC 251.
The UAE capital's Yas Island had been transformed into 'UFC Fight Island', where four UFC events are set to be held during July. All the events will take place at the Flash Forum a closed-off area of Abu Dhabi.
The first of those events saw American-Nigerian Usman successfully defend his championship with a gritty display over journeyman contender Masvidal.
The challenger was only drafted into the fight at six days' notice following the withdrawl of Brazilian number one contender, Gilbert Burns, who had tested positive for Covid-19 before setting off for the United Arab Emirates.
Usman relied on his powerful wrestling game to earn scores of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 from the three judges after five gruelling rounds - and improved his record to 17-1 and extended his winning streak to 16 fights in the UFC.
Esquire now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.