Here are all the highlights, results and analysis from UFC 261 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

It's only April and the UFC has already given the fans two triple headliners! It seems the UFC is utilizing all their power to put up the best shows for their fans and what a royal treat this has been. UFC 261 was historic! Historic for multiple reasons.

After March 2020, it finally seemed like situations were back to normal when the UFC hosted UFC 261 with a packed crowd of 15,000 fans at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena at Jacksonville, Florida.

Not only was it a treat for the fans in attendance, but the cheers, boo, howls and cries made the event absolutely nostalgic for the fans watching the coverage in their respective homes.

With over 7,00,000 PPV buys, UFC 261 seemed to be a great financial success for the UFC too.

With 3 title fights on the line, this 5-fight card was an assured banger for viewers across the globe.

Let's look at the results below:

table_TOOnuqM Here are all the highlights, results and analysis from UFC 261 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

There aren’t many moments in the UFC where rosters can boast of ALL fights ending in a Knockout or a Technical Knockout.

This was one of those cards that had all the elements and the results didn’t disappoint at all.

This fight card also set a new record for the UFC as the Shortest Octagon Time for any event at 19 minutes and 56 seconds.

The second quickest event, ie: Shortest Octagon Time was at UFC 92 with a total fight time of 30 minutes and 39 seconds.

I would like to touch upon all the fights as they had a string of zing moments in each of them.

The opening fight on the main card was in the Light Heavyweight (205 lbs) division where Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith took on Australia’s rising star Jimmy Crute.

Crute opens with some leg kicks that miss the target and Smith is working closely on finding his range with that jab. A few feints in, Smith is landing some stinging jabs. Crute knows he needs to slow down Smith and attacks the legs with some kicks. Just then, Smith counters with a leg kick that lands perfectly damaging the peroneal nerve of Crute.

The peroneal nerve controls the movement of the leg and its clear Crute has absolutely no control on his lead leg. A desperation take down by Crute sees him through the first round.

When the doctors take a closer look at Crute’s condition, they waive it off as it's only dangerous for the fighter to continue whilst having zero sensation on that left leg.

50+ fights, 32 years of age and Anthony Smith is still looking in top form.

A gracious greet post the fight showing how much these two warriors respect each other.

Overall a good contest, however, I feel we didn’t see the best of both the contenders.

The next fight on the card was a clash between Uriah Hall and Chris Weidman in the middleweight (185 lbs) division.

This fight was over 10 years in the making. The last time these two warriors met was in 2010 where Chris Weidman had his hand raised.

This time around, both Hall and Weidman were mature, tough fighters looking to make a difference.

As always the bout started on the feet, both fighters took the centre of the Octagon.

Weidman feinted with a few jabs and loaded up on a heavy low kick that was checked by Hall. It all seemed ok for that precise second till Weidman stepped back and collapsed on his broken shin.

Immediately the referee Herb Dean realized what happened and the crowd were stunned with what they saw.

With Weidman screaming in pain, Hall could barely look in that direction and sat looking at his corner till Weidman was taken off on a stretcher.

No celebrations from Hall showed how much he respected Weidman.

This also earned Hall a unique record – the first fighter to win in the UFC without throwing a single strike.

We get on to the first title fight of the night in the women's flyweight (125 lbs) division where the ruling queen Valentina Shevchenko takes on former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.

Andrade is not new to adversity and was ready to come out as the massive underdog in this fight. She had a plan and looked like she was ready to go and be in control… till the bell went off.

Shevchenko, making her 5th title defence, looking laser focused starts the fight with a head kick. Andrade, clearly having a shorter range, gets close to attacking Shevchenko’s body but eats two crisp shots in the exchange. Shevchenko quickly grabs Andrade from the back and takes her down with ease. Andrade tries to fight back with elbows, but Shevchenko throws a vicious head kick that misses the target by a few centimetres. By this time, it’s clear that Shevchenko is in complete control of the fight. Andrade comes in range to throw punches and gets clipped by a quick three punch combo that puts her off balance. Andrade gets Shevchenko on the fence but is greeted with grappling greatness as Shevchenko puts Andrade back on her back with ease. Andrade rolls to the side giving Shevchenko a chance to slip in a rear naked choke, but it's completely in. Round 1 ends with Shevchenko on top and a battered challenger.

Round 2 starts with a barrage of strikes thrown before Shevchenko takes Andrade down again; this time it's even harder. Shenchenko lands some hard body shots before setting up the crucifix. The end is near for Andrade when Shevchenko lands heavy elbows. Referee Dan Miragliotta has seen enough and stops the fight little over 3 minutes in Round 2.

With 7 perfect takedowns and 90 strikes, Shevchenko shows the world she has very few holes in her game.

We would like to see what’s next in line for Shevchenko. Does she move up and challenge the bantamweight queen? Or does the UFC set up another cracking challenge for the Flyweight dominator?

The co-main event was another woman’s title fight in the strawweight (115 lbs) division between China’s first UFC champion Weili Zhang and the former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.

The contest starts with no touch of the glove. Rose shows great footwork and Zhang looks to slow her down with a series of inside leg kicks.

Rose jabs her way in and Zhang throws another leg kick. Zhang is on a 21 fight win streak and is looking to set up her shots. Just then Rose snaps a left high kick that lands flush on Zhang that sends her to the canvas. Rose dives in with some hammer fists and seals the deal 1:18 seconds in the first round. With just 7 strikes thrown by Wili and 5 by Rose, it happens to be one of the quickest finishes in the women’s strawweight division.

Rose has stunned the world yet again and is re-crowned the strawweight queen of the world.

Onto the main event of the evening. The grudge match between the welterweight (170 lbs) champion of the world – Kamaru Usman and Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal.

Usman, training with Trevor Whitman, is walking into this fight with high confidence of his team mate Rose Namajunas that just stunned the world. The Usman corner looked super pumped during the walkout.

Standing across Usman is 50+ fight veteran Jorge Masvidal who walked out with his head coach Mike Brown looking super relaxed.
The last time these two warriors met was at UFC 251 in July 2020 at Fight Island, where Jorge took the fight on 6 days’ notice and went 5 whole rounds with the champ.

This time around, with a full camp, Jorge wanted to put a stamp to this rivalry and show the world why he holds the BMF belt!

Round 1 starts with no touch of the gloves. Both fighters have bad blood between them and Jorge starts taunting Usman immediately. Usman opens with a jab and Masvidal throws a hard leg kick. It doesn’t seem to shake Usman till Masvidal throws the second hard leg kick. Usman bounces around and shakes it off. There's a good exchange between the two and Usman seems to move ahead without fearing the power in Masvidals’ hands.

The two trade jabs followed by a flying knee from Masvidal that makes the crowd go ‘OOOOOOOO’, but Usman is quick to turn that into a take down and show his strength from top position. Both fighters trade shots and Masvidal looks to slice Usman from the bottom. Usman lands a hard elbow.

Masvidal gets an inch of space and scrambles to his feet to get the fight in standing position. Masvidal connects with a hard right and Usman follows up with some wild swinging punches that miss the target. Masvidal is now taunting Usman. Masvidal throws a couple of hard leg kicks and that sounds the bell of Round 1.

Round 2 starts with Masvidal chopping those legs followed with a stinging right cross. Usman absorbs it and moves forward with a right of his own shot. Masvidal taunts and asks Usman for more.

Just then Usman drops Masvidal’s guard with his jab and lands a huge right sending Masvidal crashing into the canvas like a log of wood.

Usman has settled the score 1:02 secs of Round 2 and handed Masvidal his first knockout loss in 50+ professional fights and wrapped up the Masvidal chapter for good. #AndStill

Hope you enjoyed my breakdown and post-fight analysis of UFC 261.

Stay tuned for more exciting articles only on SPOGO News.

Catch my latest episode of The Fighting G.O.A.T only on the IVM Podcast Network where I speak on the importance of good coaching and a lot more.

About the author

somesh-kamra Here are all the highlights, results and analysis from UFC 261 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

Somesh Kamra is a professional mixed martial artist specializing in Muay Thai. He has designed many effective training programs for Superhuman Gym and the Police Academy. His knowledge of hand to hand combat is unbeaten and has been a success story for many students. Somesh Kamra is educated from the University of Gold's Gym in the field of physical fitness that includes strength training, plyometrics & cardiovascular training for muscular conditioning.

He works closely with the UFC for India and serves as the panelist for the TV Show – The Ultimate Guide to UFC and Pit Stop on Sony Sports Network. 

Somesh runs India’s first combat podcast – The Fighting G.O.A.T produced exclusively by the IVM Podcast Network.

Instagram: Somesh.Kamra 

Twitter: Somesh_Kamra


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