Takeaways from UFC 251 Main Card

First bout on the main card: Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant by sub. This fight went exactly how I imagined it would. Ribas dominated VanZant from start to finish. Ribas put her ground work on display in full and picked up a quick victory with an arm bar submission.

Second main card bout: Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade by SD. To the eye Rose was dominating this fight but a second hand look will show us how close it really was. Rose was able to keep Andrade from taking her down and that alone was impressive. Rose made the adjustments she needed to and was firing on all cylinders through the entire fight doing enough to win this fight. I would personally love to see Rose fight in the future. Andrade did plenty of damage and never folded at any point in this fight. Expect Andrade to return emboldened from this experience.

Third main card bout: Peter Yan def. Jose Aldo by TKO. This one was for the Bantamweight title. A classic title bout despite the horrible late stoppage by Ref. Leon Roberts. Jose Aldo was powerful, showed his high fighting IQ, and walked out a legend in my eyes. Peter Yan is the real deal and no doubt in my mind he deserves to be champion. Styles make MMA fights and Peter Yans style was better suited for this match-up despite how even these two were going into the 5th round. We were gifted one of the greatest fights in UFC history and this bout was also the best title fight of the night.

Fourth main card bout: Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Halloway by SD. A fantastic striking match with a frantic pace through 5 hard championship rounds. Halloway and Volkanovski gave us the feeling someone would be finished. Max was sharp through two rounds and Volkanovski picked it up mid third round until the end of the fight. My biggest take away is Max clearly won rounds 1 & 2 scoring two knockdowns in the process. The third round was a toss up leaning toward Volkanovski. Volkanovski clearly won the 4th and 5th rounds. If Max doesn’t coast the 5th round we have a different outcome. Max is still elite but Volkanovski is now the cream of the crop in this division.

Final main card bout: Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal by UD. This fight went how I was afraid it would; not very entertaining. Usman used his superior wrestling to clinch Masvidal and keep him from doing major damage. Masvidal looked good in the first round but late in the second round he began to fade. Shedding 20lbs. in 5 days took its toll and taking a fight on 6 days notice showed in this bout. Not taking anything away from Usman he is rightfully deserving to be champion.

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