UFC News: Early Look at Usman vs Burns, More UFC 251 Title Bouts at Fight Island
After weeks of anticipation, the undisclosed location of Fight Island has been found out along with a trio of title fights set to headline UFC 251 on July 11.
While the preliminary rumors of Fight Island conjured up images of a non-public island owned by way of the UFC with a beachside Octagon, the fact is the new place is on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Company president Dana White announced the place on Twitter.
Let’s test the introduced fight card for UFC 251.
UFC 251 combat card
Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Gilbert Burns — Welterweight name
Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway — Featherweight name
Jose Aldo vs. Petr Yan — Vacant bantamweight name
Rose Namajunas vs. Jéssica Andrade — Women’s strawweights
Paige VanZant vs. Amanda Ribas — Women’s flyweights
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiří Procházka — Light heavyweights
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov — Welterweights
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Dan Henry — Featherweights
Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov — Lightweights
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov — Heavyweights
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Raulian Paiva — Flyweights
Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo — Women’s bantamweights
Martin Day vs. Davey Grant — 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
UFC 251 countdown
Brookhouse: What to realize about “Fight Island”
It’s a venue this is acquainted to the UFC. It remaining held an occasion on the island at UFC 242, but the new facility can be isolated from the rest of the population and extended to include schooling facilities, a motel and dining, consistent with Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The new venue, with a view to allow the UFC to place on international events all through the coronavirus pandemic, is playing host to a large card in its return.
Okamoto mentioned that Gilbert Burns may be hard Kamaru Usman for the welterweight name, Alexander Volkanovski will guard his featherweight title in opposition to Max Holloway in a rematch and Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will compete for the vacant bantamweight name.
Three name fights is as exact as it gets on a pay-in step with-view card, and itspeaks to how devoted the enterprise is to getting Fight Island off to a sturdy begin.
Let’s take an early look at the championship fights and what to expect.
Gilbert Burns vs. Kamaru Usman
Burns is the beneficiary of accurate timing and failed negotiations with a number of the other top contenders inside the welterweight department.
Ariel Helwani of ESPN reported that both Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards were first of all goals for this bout:
For Masvidal, the issue appears to come right down to money. He has expressed frustration together with his UFC contract and the manner the corporation does business publicly. Edwards was no longer available because of the issue surrounding journey from the United Kingdom.
Just due to the fact Burns changed into the third choice doesn’t mean it’ll be an easy combat for the champion, though. The Brazilian continues to be a fairly unknown commodity however his overall performance towards Tyron Woodley on May 30 bore a robust resemblance to the only Usman positioned in in opposition to the previous champion to win the belt in March 2019.
In Burns’ fight towards Woodley, the South American became out to be the faster fighter and gained the placing exchanges. He changed into also the more potent grappler.
Both warring parties wound up with same 50-44. 50-44, 50-forty five scorecards in opposition to T-Wood, and each recorded takedowns towards the previous wrestler.
The odds are in all likelihood to make Usman a decent favorite. He’s a extra-established elite fighter. Not best did he end Woodley’s reign but he additionally close down Colby Covington’s hype train, and the belt still manner something.
However, Burns may be a stay dog here. He has yet to face the competition Usman has seen, however his second-biggest win was over what became left of Demian Maia in March. But if he looks anything like he did against Woodley two weeks ago, he’s going to deliver the combat in what may be a five-spherical classic.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway
For the second time in as many fights, Volkanovski and Holloway will serve as the co-principal event to an Usman name defense. The two fought in December 2019 on the equal card as the Nigerian’s win over Covington.
The combat showcased simply how appropriate Volkanovski is, but it felt like a story of fights.
Holloway, acknowledged for slow starts, turned into taken completely out of his game inside the establishing rounds. Volkanovski took a web page out of Jose Aldo’s playbook and blasted the Hawaiian with leg kicks. It served its purpose, as Blessed struggled to regulate and lost the early rounds convincingly.
As the combat progressed, the former champion lovers are used to seeing emerged. He become able to show the combat right into a brawl, and the championship rounds were close and competitive. That would give an explanation for the disparity in scores, as Volkanovski took a smooth sweep 50-45 in keeping with one card but most effective one 48-47 on two more.
In many rematches, the phrases of engagement are already set. We’re just looking the mediocre sequel of the same movie. This one appears to have legitimate questions that need to be answered, though. Will Volkanovski have the ability to hire the identical leg-kick-heavy strategy? Will the second one fight simply pick up in which the final one left off, or will Holloway get off to a sluggish begin again?
Both warring parties have a records of throwing a ton of volume and setting on some outstanding fights. This will compete with the predominant occasion for Fight of the Night.
Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo
They can’t all be winners.
The major and co-main events appear like assured fireworks. This might become being a good fight, but it’s a ways from the best one the bantamweight department has to offer.
Just a week after watching Aljamain Sterling and Cody Garbrandt placed on stellar performances, there are lots of fantastic fights at the bantamweight horizons. This isn’t one of them, though.
Aldo is getting this identify shot as a lifetime achievement award and on account of being one of the maximum recognizable names inside the department. The Brazilian is one of the greatest featherweights of all time, but he is just 3-five in his closing 8 fights, starting along with his knockout loss to Conor McGregor.
He’s handiest fought as soon as at bantamweight too, and it become a less-than-convincing split-decision loss to Marlon Moraes. With respect to Moraes’ abilities, Yan has looked much extra promising than the former World Series of Fighting veteran.
Yan is 6-0 inside the UFC in opposition to escalating opposition. While Aldo is within the twilight of his profession, the 27-year-old is both in his prime or drawing near it with every combat. His simplest profession loss got here in 2016.
Maybe Aldo has one extra magical performance in him and we see the resurrection of a residing legend. But it seems much more likely we see a coronation of a future king with a variety of thrilling matchups in his future.