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UFC 251 play-by-play and live results

ABU DHABI – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC 251 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play. The event takes place at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early...

ABU DHABI – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC 251 event, and you can join us for live play-by-play.

The event takes place at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

In the main event, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) takes on short-notice challenger Jorge Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC). In the co-main event, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (21-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) puts his title on the line for the first time against former champ Max Holloway (21-5 MMA, 17-5 UFC), whom he beat to win the title in 2019. In the third title fight on the main card, Petr Yan (14-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meets former featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo (28-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) for the vacant bantamweight title.

Follow along with our round-by-round updates and official results beginning at approximately 6 p.m. ET for the UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+ early prelims, 8 p.m. ET for the prelims on ESPN, and 10 p.m. for the main card on pay-per-view.

To discuss the show, be sure to check out our UFC 251 discussion thread. You can also get behind-the-scenes coverage and other event notes from on-site reporter John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) on Twitter.

Enjoy the fights, everyone.

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Current fight

Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas

Round 1 – Here we go – a rematch 14 months in the making. Andrade misses on a leg kick. Namajunas sticks a jab. Andrade lands on a leg kick. Andrade using a tremendous amount of head movement early. Andrade lands an inside leg kick. Namajunas connects on a one-two combination. Namajunas throws another combination, but Andrade’s head movement avoids them. Left-right-left-right, Andrade (almost exaggeratingly so) bobs here head side to side. Namajunas connects on an overhand right. Andrade keeps pressing forward. She lands a combination. Namajunas connects on a punch. Andrade is looking good here on the attack, but Namajunas is holding her own in the countering department. It’s forward, forward, forward for Andrade. She’s fearless. Andrade throws a flying knee. It didn’t appear to connect. Andrade is bleeding out of her nose. Andrade charges in and they clinch. Namajunas lands a knee to the midsection, which separates the Brazilian from her. Andrade shoots for a takedown and Namajunas lands another knee. This round is close. Andrade made some good adjustments in between fights. This is playing out nearly as lopsidedly as their first fight. The round ends. 10-9 Namajunas.

Round 2 – Andrade continuing her extreme head movement. It’s working. Andrade lands a pair of leg kicks. Namajunas answers with a pair of jabs. Andrade connects with a body kick. Namajunas tries a leaping knee but Andrade avoids. Andrade cranks a body shot. Namajunas connects on a combination. Andrade answers with a hard right hand. Namajunas responds with a two-punch combination. Namjunas tries a flying knee and falls on her back. She pops back up. Namajunas is pushing the action, staying on the outside. Andrade throws a looping hook. Namajunas connects on a short counter punch. Pat Barry is LOUD in the corner of Namajunas. The two fighters clinch in the center. Namajunas walks Andrade toward the cage, but the Brazilian escapes before they get there. Andrade is missing a lot. She also appears to be slowing down volume-wise. Her head movement is still going, though. Andrade lands a combination and Namajunas counters with a jab. The two fighters swing wildly. The horn sounds. 20-18 Namajunas.

Result:
Recap: Amanda Ribas taps Paige VanZant with first-round armbar
Records: Jessica Andrade (20-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC), Rose Namajunas (8-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC)
Division: Women’s strawweight
Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Referee: Dan Mohavedi
Judging:

Results

Martin Day vs. Davey Grant

Round 1 – The first fight in the history of “Fight Island” is underway. What a wild journey we’ve been a part of over these past few months – all leading to this. Grant opens up with a pair of calf kicks. Those are becoming a big weapon for so many fighters recently. Grant tries a stepping side kick to the midsection of Day, who throws a high kick in response. Grant lands another low kick. The cage is looking big tonight. It’s a noticeable difference from the UFC Apex. Grant lands a combination. Day lands a body kick. An overhand left from Grant connects. Both fighters swing and miss. Day tries some spinning stuff (a kick). No dice. Day floors Grant with a counter right punch. Grant recovers quickly but Day is on top of him. Day is in Grant’s guard. Grant, working from the bottom, gets up to his feet. Both fighters are back in the center. Grant throws a high kick, which Day blocks. Grant shoots for a double leg takedown – and he gets it. Grant is in a postured half guard on top. Day pushes him back into his full guard. Day grabs hold of Grant’s leg, in an effort to get up. Grant lands a few ground-and-pound shots. Day pushes Grant off him, right as the round ends. 10-9 Grant, despite the knockdown.

Round 2 – Both fighters come out swinging. Day jabs the body. A body kick is caught, and let go, by Grant. Day spins and misses. Grant lands a loud two-punch combination to the body. Grant switching stances, circling around his Hawaiian opponent. A leaping knee lands for Grant. Day is unfazed. Day is getting kick-heavy, targeting the body of Grant. A massive four-punch combination from Grant rocks Day. He didn’t go down but was totally disoriented. He did a double-take. Grant charges after him. Day is still wobbly. Grant lands a series of follow-up combinations. Day is showing his chin here. Grant fakes a flying knee and goes for a double-leg, which he gets. Grant working for the guillotine from the top. Day rolls out but Grant is in side control. Now Grant has Day in the North-South position. Grant leaps over for an armbar. What a transition. Day escapes, though – and now he’s on top. Day is in Grant’s guard. Day is working for a D’Arce choke. No dice. Grant gets up and Day lands a solid punch. With two seconds left in the round, Day knocks Grant down with a spinning back kick to the chest. 20-18 Grant.

Round 3 – Day comes out aggressive. He listened to his corner, who told him he needs a finish to win. Grant circles out of danger and lands a combination. Grant shoots for a single leg. Day slides out of harm’s way but eats a left hand. Synchronized jabs land. Day rips the body with a hook. He looks like the fresher fighter here, two minutes into the final round. Grant connects with a two-punch combination. Grant throws a hammerfist-elbow hybrid. He threw a similar strike in Round 1. Day connects with a combination. Both fighters land. They’re trading. This has been a great fight to kick off things off. Ohhhhh. Grant floors Day with a left hand. Day hits the mat, laying like a starfish on the canvas. He’s out cold. What a knockout by Davey Grant!

Result: Davey Grant def. Martin Day via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 2:38
Recap: Davey Grant opens UFC 251 with savage knockout of Martin Day
Records: Martin Day (9-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC), Davey Grant (10-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC)
Division: Bantamweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+
Referee: Rich Mitchell

Vanessa Melo vs. Karol Rosa

Round 1 – Both fighters trade early. Rosa tries a jumping push kick to the stomach. It’s only been 45 seconds, but Rosa already looks a step ahead. She’s much more comfortable in the pocket. Rosa peppers in the inside leg of Melo with kicks. Rosa stumbles off balance backward. Not sure what happened there. That was weird. Anyway, they’re back exchanging. Rosa lands a combination and circles away. Rosa tries another hopping kick. They’re landing, but I’m not sure their effectiveness. Rosa slips again. That was Charlie Brown-esque. Back to her feet, Rosa returns to dictating the pace. Melo hasn’t been able to get much of anything going. Rosa shoots for a takedown and promptly gets it. Rosa is working in Melo’s guard but isn’t really doing anything substantial. The round ends. 10-9 Rosa.

Round 2 – Melo lands a counter jab to start the second round. An overhand right lands for Melo. She follows it up with an outside leg kick. Melo misses on a left hook. Another jumping kick/knee attempt from Rosa. No dice. Melo shoots for a takedown. Playing the role of the matador, Rosa “olés” aside and ties Melo up against the fence. Rosa muscles Melo to the ground. That looked fairly effortless. Rosa is in half guard. She lands an elbow. A series of short elbows land for Rosa. They are so short, in fact, it’s almost like they’re pushing Melo’s head rather than striking it. Rosa switches up to punches. These are landing. Over and over again Rosa is whacking Melo. They aren’t devastating but the accumulated effects could lead to a stoppage. Melo rolls away. The round ends. 20-17 Rosa.

Round 3 – Melo comes to the center quickly and eats a jab. Both fighters are missing a lot early in Round 3. Another leaping knee attempt by Rosa. Melo and Rosa trade leg kicks. A jumping knee from Rosa lands to the midsection of Melo. An outside leg kick lands for Melo. Moments later, Rosa lands two quick, short punches. Melo is fighting with an upped sense of urgency. This is probably the best effort she’s put forward tonight. Rosa grabs hold of Melo and pushes her against the cage for the remainder of the round. The buzzer sounds. MMA Junkie scores it 30-26 Rosa.

Result: Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Records: Vanessa Melo (10-8 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Karol Rosa (13-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Division: Women’s bantamweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+
Referee: Dan Mohavedi
Judging: David Lethaby, Clemens Werner (30-26, giving Rosa a 10-8 in Round 2); Anders Ohlsson (29-27, giving Round 3 to Melo, Rosa a 10-8 in Round 2)

Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

Round 1 – A touch of gloves and we’re off. Worth noting Paiva missed weight by three pounds yesterday. Zhumagulov doesn’t seem to be fazed. He came out strong. Zhumagulov leaps in with a hard right hand. It just missed. Zhumagulov blocks a high kick. Paiva lands an inside leg kick as Zhumagulov charges in. Paiva tries another high kick. I wonder if that was a big part of his gameplan for this one. He’s thrown quite a few. Paiva rips the body of Zhumagulov with a kick. Zhumagulov rips Paiva’s body with a punch. That looked borderline low. Paiva’s size advantage is becoming a major factor here. Zhumagulov is coming up short (no pun intended). Both fighters exchange wildly. It seems like they missed on pretty much everything. Paiva ties Zhumagulov up briefly. Paiva continues to target Zhumagulov’s body with kicks. Zhumagulov tries to take down Paiva. Paiva stumbles backward and falls – but he regains himself before Zhumagulov can get on top. With about 10 seconds left in the round, Zhumagulov shoots again. The two fighters briefly stumble to the mat, but get up right before the bell. 10-9 Paiva.

Round 2 – Paiva is knocked off balance in the first exchange of the round. That was a slip. Paiva circles around Zhumagulov – right into a body kick. Paiva lands a leg kick as Zhumagulov throws. Once again, Paiva’s butt hits the mat and gets back up. Zhumagulov lands to the body. Paiva charges in and grabs hold of Zhumagulov against the fence. Zhumagulov escapes and the action returns toward the center. There’s a lot of missing going on. Paiva is stalking Zhumagulov, who continues to stay out of range. Zhumagulov lands a body kick. Zhumagulov lands a right-hand counter. Paiva dives in and clinches Zhumagulov. Milliseconds later, they separate. Paiva shoots again and Zhumagulov avoids. Paiva ties Zhumagulov up against the fence. Zhumagulov reverses and flips Paiva to the mat. Zhumagulov is in Paiva’s guard. The round ends. 19-19.

Round 3 – Zhumagulov opens with an outside leg kick. Paiva returns with a high kick which hits Zhumagulov’s shoulder. Both fighters land simultaneously. Paiva’s punch appeared to land harder. Zhumagulov taps another outside leg kick. Paiva feints and Zhumagulov bites. Paiva tries to capitalize, but Zhumagulov scurries away. Paiva connects on a hard body kick. Zhumagulov lands a right hand. Zhumagulov shoots for a takedown and gets it. The fight only remains on the ground for a second or two. Paiva pops back to his feet. Zhumagulov lands another leg kick. Zhumagulov and Paiva clinch. Paiva walks Zhumagulov back to the fence. They separate. A left-hand lands for Paiva. That may have been his best punch of the fight. They clinch and separate. With approximately one minute left on the clock, Paiva throws a low kick. Crack. That one landed right on the cup of Zhumagulov, who screams out in pain. Mannnnn. That didn’t look good. Zhumagulov is writhing in pain on the mat. Leon Roberts calls timeout. Zhumagulov is still writing. Paiva is complaining. Roberts calls the doctor in. That kick was a split the uprights directly. Ouch. After a couple minutes regaining himself, Zhumagulov signals he’s ready to go. The action resumes. Paiva throws a right hand and Zhumagulov shoots for a takedown. They spin to the mat, scramble up, and square off back in the center. Zhumaglov lands a low leg kick. This could be anyone’s fight. Zhumagulov shoots again. Paiva stuffs him. Another shot from Zhumagulov is unsuccessful. With seconds left in the fight, Paiva lands a knee to the groin of Zhumagulov. The time expires before referee Roberts is able to call a timeout. The horn sounds. Zhumagulov clutches his groin area again. That’s rough. MMA Junkie scores it 29-28 Zhumagulov.

Result: Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-2)
Records: Raulian Paiva (20-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Division: Flyweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+
Referee: Leon Roberts
Judging: Lukasz Bosaki, Ben Cartlidge, Vito Paolili (29-28, giving Round 2 to Zhumagulov)

Maxim Grishin vs. Marcin Tybura

Round 1 – It took Maxim Grishin 12 years to clock time in the UFC cage but here he is. Both fighters throwing kicks early. Nothing has landed yet. Grishin connects on an outside leg kick. Grishin throws a high kick. Tybura catches it and goes for a takedown. Grishin fends off the attempt and they’re back in the center. A loud leg kick lands for Grishin. The two fighters clinch and Tybura backs Grishin against the fence. They separate but Tybura goes back to the clinch seconds later. He’s pushing Grishin against the fence again. Grishin turns Tybura around. They separate and now Tybura is walking down Grishin, who is circling around him. Tybura lands an outside leg kick, then charges in again. Tybura back to pushing Grishin against the cage. Tybura shoots for the takedown and gets it. The round ends with Tybura tying Grishin up against the fence. The horn sounds. 10-9 Tybura.

Round 2 – Tybura comes out aggressive again. There’s more throwing and more missing this round. A Tybura kick lands low. Grishin signals for a timeout. Herb Dean calls a timeout. Grishin quickly is ready to resume. The clock restarts and we’re back. Tybura ties Grishin up against the fence. The fighters separate. Dean calls timeout, citing a foul. I’m not sure what he saw. But he brings the fighters back to the fence, with Tybura leaning on Grishin. This is not the most entertaining fight. Eventually, Grishin is able to separate. Grishin tries a high kick and Tybura comes over the top, landing on a punch. Tybura is back to his happy place, pushing Grishin into the links once again. With 15 seconds left in the round, Tybura gets Grishin down with a double leg. The round ends. 20-18 Tybura.

Round 3 – Grishin comes out with a sequence of low push kicks, trying to keep Tybura at bay. Grishin lands a straight right hand. Tybura bounds forward. Grishin dives away. Tybura shoots again. If there was a crowd, they would likely be booing right now. Tybura is low on a single. He uses it to spin to the back. Tybura finally gets a takedown. There are three minutes left in the round and Tybura is in Grishin’s guard. Tybura moves to half guard. Grishin rolls and Tybura works to his back. Tybura locks in the body triangle, with Grishin posted up on one hand. That’s a big man squeezing Grishin’s midsection. Tybura softens up Grishin with some punches. Grishin is leaking. The round ends with Tybura on top. 30-27 Tybura.

Result: Marcin def. Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Records: Maxim Grishin (30-8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Marcin Tybura (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC)
Division: Heavyweight
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+
Referee: Herb Dean
Judging:

Roman Bogatov vs. Leonardo Santos

Round 1 – A touch of gloves and we’re off. Bogatov slips on a kick and Santos attacks with a series of haymaker punches. Bogatov avoids danger and circles away. Santos pumping the jab. Bogatov eating the jab. Bogatov comes flying in with a bizarre spinning attack in which no strikes were fully thrown. Santos connects on a right hand. Bogatov pokes Santos in the eye when gauging distance on a combination. A timeout is called. The doctor examines Santos’ eye. He gives his blessing and the action resumes. Santos and Bogatov clinch. Santos drags Bogatov to the mat. Santos is on Bogatov’s back. Bogatov stands up and scrambles out of Santos’ clutches. Bogatov goes on the attack but isn’t able to connect. Santos turns Bogatov around with a leg kick. Bogatov lands a leg kick and ducks out of Santos’ combination. Santos connects on a combination. “Nope,” says Bogatov, shaking his head at the notion that hurt him at all. Santos cracks Bogatov in the body. Bogatov comes in aggressively. Santos catches him and drags him to the canvas. The round ends. 10-9 Santos.

Round 2 – In between rounds, Andre Pederneiras calls for Santos to utilize his knees. Santos lands a body kick, followed by a boxing combination to the head. Bogatov tries a spinning backfist. No dice. Bogatov shoots for a takedown. He’s driving Santos into the fence, trying to clasp his hands together. Santos making him pay with Travis Browne elbows. Bogatov still straining, but he’s not getting anywhere. Goddard warns Bogatov about having his fingers in the fence. Seconds later, Santos escapes and circles to the center. The two fighters clinch and Santos knees Bogatov in the head.  Santos follows up with a punch that rocks Bogatov. He’s in trouble. Santos is chasing a stumbling Bogatov. Santos continues to connect. Bogatov won’t go down but he’s hurt. Goddard is thinking about stopping this. Santos feeds Bogatov a heavy head kick. Yikes. Bogatov eats more punishment. Out of desperation, Bogatov shoots for a takedown, totally disoriented. Santos lands on top, but Bogatov reverses. Wow. Now Bogatov is on top. That easily could’ve been stopped, in my opinion. But that’s why Goddard is a referee and I’m not, I suppose. Bogatov is in Santos’ guard. Bogatov lands ground and pound to finish the round. The round ends. What a recovery. What a turn of events. 20-17 Santos, but A+ heart shown by Bogatov.

Round 3 – Bogatov is sucking wind before the round starts. In the opening seconds, Bogatov shoots for a takedown. Pushing Santos against the fence, Bogatov lands a hard knee to the cup of Santos. Goddard calls a timeout and Santos crumples to the mat. There’s been a healthy population of fouls on Fight Island thus far. Santos is laying on his back, grimacing. Whether justified or not, Bogatov is getting the rest he needs. The doctor is in the cage now, kneeling over the writhing Santos. This doesn’t look great. Santos is now sitting up. Goddard says something to Santos, who then gets to his feet and walks to the fence. The action resumes. Bogatov shoots for a single leg. Santos displays phenomenal balance. Bogatov, once again, almost gets Santos down – but Santos refuses to go down. Moments later, Bogatov lands another knee to the cup. This is brutal. UFC Fight Island is healthily inhabited by groin strikes, apparently. Goddard gives another warning but doesn’t take a point. This round feels like it’s gone on for six hours. Santos doesn’t need as much time to recover and the action resumes. Bogatov comes flying at Santos and shoots for another takedown. This one, he gets. Bogatov controlling Santos, who tries to get to his feet. As Santos is perched on two knees, Bogatov throws an illegal knee that connects squarely on Santos’ head. You’ve got to be kidding me. This is crazy. Bogatov doesn’t play by the rules. On queue, Bogatov is scolded for talking to his corner. Goddard takes TWO points for the illegal knee. The fight resumes – again. Bogatov – again – comes out flying. He knows he needs a finish. He’s flinging punches at Santos. Bogatov pushes Santos against the fence, separates, and starts flinging again. Bogatov lands an uppercut and the two fighters tumble to the canvas. The fight ends – seemingly three hours after it began. MMA Junkie scores it 29-25 Santos.

Result: Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)
Recap:
Records: Roman Bogatov (10-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Leonardo Santos (18-3-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC)
Division: Lightweight
Broadcast: ESPN
Referee: Marc Goddard
Judging:

Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry

Round 1 – The UFC quickly zips to the next fight after how long that last one took. This featherweight fight is underway. Both fighters are cautious early, unwilling to waste movement. Henry tries a jumping switch kick, which cracks on the elbow of Amirkhani. Most of the offense through the first half of the round has been just that – Henry throwing kicks, which are blocked by Amrikhani. Finally, Amirkhani sees an opening. “Mr. Finland” leaps with a knee into a takedown, which he gets. Now seeking a choke, Amirkhani rolls Henry. Amirkhani has an anaconda choke. This looks tight. Henry is circling like the hands on a clock. Roberts is checking on Henry. He’s asleep! Roberts waives off the fight. All class, Amirkhani sets Henry’s head down calmly and raises his opponent’s legs in an effort to get the blood back to his brain. That was quick! Nice performance by Amirkhani.

Result: Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Recap: Makwan Amirkhani chokes out opponent, then helps wake him up at UFC 251
Records: Makwan Amirkhani (16-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Danny Henry (12-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Division: Featherweight
Broadcast: ESPN
Referee: Leon Roberts

Muslim Salikhov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Round 1 – I cannot wait for this one. Both fighters come out orthodox. Salikhov lands a leg kick. A Dos Santos hits the arm of Salikhov. Dos Santos misses on a punch but follows it up with a body kick. Salikhov lands a counter punch. A hard, leaping left-hand lands for dos Santos. There it is. We’ve got spins. Salikhov misses on a wheel kick. Dos Santos throws an absolute bomb of an overhand right, which whiffs. Salikhov is lucky. That one brought the heat. Dos Santos lands a leg kick. Salikhov lands a spinning back kick to the stomach. Dos Santos tries a wheel kick. It misses. Salikhov tries a spinning back kick to the head. It’s blocked. Spin-for-spin. I love it. Salikhov lands a hard left hook. Dos Santos shoots for a takedown. Salikhov stuffs him. They clinch in the center. They break. Dos Santos rocks Salikhov with about 20 seconds left. Salikhov stumbles backward. Dos Santos chases him down, but Salikhov takes him down. Dos Santos rolls Salikhov and lands on top. He lands a few ground-and-pound punches before the round ends. I think he stole the round with that last flurry. 10-9 dos Santos.

Round 2 – Salikhov tries another spin kick to the body. He may have some of the quickest spinning strikes I’ve ever seen. Lightning-fast. Salikhov lands an inside leg kick. Dos Santos tries a spin. Salikhov catches him and flings him to the mat. Dos Santos gets back up. Dos Santos connects on a hard overhand right which stuns Salikhov. Dos Santos rushes in and Salikhov takes him down. Dos Santos pops back up to his feet and pushes Salikhov to the fence. Dos Santos brings Salikhov to the ground. Salikhov pops right up but dos Santos still has hold of him. Salikhov reverses position and separates. Back in the center, dos Santos pumps the jab. Dos Santos is now fighting southpaw. Both fighters miss. Salikhov throws a spinning wheel kick, which dos Santos ducks under. Salikhov lands an uppercut. The round ends. 20-18 dos Santos.

Round 3 – Both corners tell their fighters they’ve won both rounds. Salikhov connects on an overhand right. A hard spinning back kick connects for Salikhov, which causes dos Santos to tighten up. That looked like it hurt. If dos Santos is hurt, he’s doing a good job hiding it. He just threw a wild capoeira kick, proving his nickname to be apt. Salikhov’s back has all sorts of scratches on it. This is quite the fight. Dos Santos throwing lunging haymakers. They miss. Dos Santos lands a hard right. Salikhov returns with a right of his own. Both fighters land punches in an exchange. Dos Santos is circling around Salikhov, who’s walking the Brazilian down. I really think Salikhov needs a finish here if he wants to win. He’s not out of this by any means. He’s waiting for the right opportunity, though – and he doesn’t have time to wait. The horn sounds. That was a fun technical battle right there. MMA Junkie scores it 29-28 dos Santos.

Result: Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Records: Muslim Salikhov (17-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (22-7 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: ESPN
Referee:
Judging:

Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka

Round 1 – A touch of gloves and our featured prelims are underway. Oezdemir lands a shot to the body. Prochazka grimaces. I can’t tell if that was showboating or if that hurt. Prochazka is taunting Oezdemir, sticking his chin out, with his hands down. Oezdemir comes dashing in, trying to take advantage. Prochazka lands two hard punches, which send Oezdemir backward. This is bizarre. Prochazka talking to Oezdemir, doing all sorts of weird gesticulations and showboats. Prochazka pretends an Oezdemir leg kick hurts. Oezdemir tags him with a series of punches to the head. Prochazka almost went down but remained on his feet. Oezdemir chases Prochazka around. Prochazka lands a combination. Both men have redness on their face. Prochazka has zero consistency in his movement. It’s herky-jerky, with all sorts of pauses and hand movements. He keeps grabbing his wrist. I’m not sure if that’s a distraction or what. Oezdemir lands a right hand. Oezdemir connects on a counter left as Prochazka dashes in. Oezdemir lands on a combination that sends Prochazka backward. The output in this fight is bananas – an absolute slugfest. There’s a zero percent chance they keep this up for three rounds, by the way. They’re both tiring rapidly. Oezdemir clinches Prochazka against the fence. The round ends. Well, that was fun for all sorts of reasons. 10-9 Oezdemir.

Round 2 – Prochazka lands a jab, followed by a leg kick. Prochazka wobbles Oezdemir with a high kick. Oezdemir somewhat caught it, but still is hurt. Prochazka is rushing him. OHHHH. Prochazka flattens Oezdemir with a brutal right hand. He’s out cold. Walk-off knockout. What. A. Debut. Holy smokes.

Result: Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oezdemir via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 0:49
Recap: Jiri Prochazka lives up to hype, knocks out Volkan Oezdemir
Records: Volkan Oezdemir (17-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC), Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Division: Light heavyweight
Broadcast: ESPN
Referee: Marc Goddard

Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant

Round 1 – VanZant is emotional on the walkout. Win or lose, she’ll enter free agency after this fight. It’s quite possible this is the final time we see her in the promotion. Bruce Buffer announces “We are live from UFC Fight Island,” which is definitely strange to hear. Anyway, there’s a touch of gloves and we’re off. Ribas stalking VanZant early. The two fighters tie up and Ribas tosses VanZant to the ground. In a side control headlock position, Ribas is squeezing on VanZant. There’s blood coming from somewhere. I can’t tell whose blood it is. Looks like it’s maybe coming from Ribas’ nose, spilling all over VanZant as they’re on the ground. Ribas is attacking an arm. She’s going for an armbar. VanZant tries to roll, but Ribas blocks it. There’s the tap! Ribas keeps her win streak alive and VanZant enters free agency on a loss.

Result: Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:21
Recap:
Records: Amanda Ribas (10-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), Paige VanZant (8-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC)
Division: Women’s flyweight
Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Referee: Rich Mitchell

Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Petr Yan (14-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), Jose Aldo (28-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC)
Division: Bantamweight
Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Referee:
Judging:

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Alexander Volkanovski (21-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC), Max Holloway (21-5 MMA, 17-5 UFC)
Division: Featherweight
Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Referee:
Judging:

Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal

Round 1 –

Result:
Recap:
Photos:
Records: Kamaru Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC), Jorge Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC)
Division: Welterweight
Broadcast: Pay-per-view
Referee:
Judging:

UFC 251 discussion thread

ABU DHABI – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC 251 event at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. You can discuss the event here. Be sure to follow along with the latest card updates in our UFC 251 live results post, and...

ABU DHABI – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Saturday’s UFC 251 event at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. You can discuss the event here.

Be sure to follow along with the latest card updates in our UFC 251 live results post, and then discuss the event in the comments section below.

Twitter reacts to Amanda Ribas’ quick finish of Paige VanZant at UFC 251

Amanda Ribas potentially ended Paige VanZant’s UFC career on a low note on Saturday when the Brazilian prospect won at UFC 251. Although much of the pre-fight narrative was around the fight being the last on VanZant’s (8-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) current contract, Ribas (10-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) showed...

Amanda Ribas potentially ended Paige VanZant’s UFC career on a low note on Saturday when the Brazilian prospect won at UFC 251.

Although much of the pre-fight narrative was around the fight being the last on VanZant’s (8-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) current contract, Ribas (10-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) showed why she’s was listed as a massive betting favorite with a first-round submission victory in the flyweight bout, which aired on pay-per-view from Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Ribas’ victory over VanZant at UFC 251.

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