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 Post subject: [Event] UFC 261 - Usman vs. Masvidal 2 - Apr 24
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:23 am 
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UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on April 24, 2021 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, United States.


Fight card

Main card


Welterweight Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal Welterweight Championship
Women’s Strawweight Zhang Weili (c) vs. Rose Namajunas Women's Strawweight Championship
Women’s Flyweight Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jéssica Andrade Women's Flyweight Championship
Middleweight Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
Light Heavyweight Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute


Preliminary Card (ESPN / ESPN+)

Welterweight Alex Oliveira vs. Randy Brown
Welterweight Dwight Grant vs. Stefan Sekulić
Middleweight Karl Roberson vs. Brendan Allen
Featherweight Patrick Sabatini vs. Tristan Connelly


Early Preliminary Card (ESPN2 / ESPN+)

Bantamweight Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad
Lightweight Kazula Vargas vs. Rong Zhu
Flyweight Qileng Aori vs. Jeffrey Molina
Women’s Strawweight Na Liang vs. Ariane Carnelossi



Background

The promotion had initially planned to hold the event in Singapore. However, negotiations with the Singaporean government fizzled amongst COVID-19 protocols and the promotion initially turned to their home base of Las Vegas. On March 15, UFC president Dana White announced the event will be moved to Jacksonville, Florida, with a full capacity of "15,000 UFC fans", marking the first time since UFC 248 on March 2020 that a full capacity crowd will be available (the UFC hosted a trio of events in Abu Dhabi on January with a limited number of fans). Jacksonville also hosted the UFC's first fights back after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 2020, before the organization started hosting events in either Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi.

A UFC Welterweight Championship rematch between the current champion Kamaru Usman (also The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians welterweight winner) and Jorge Masvidal is expected to headline the event. They previously met at UFC 251, where Usman defended his title via unanimous decision.

A UFC Women's Strawweight Championship bout between the current champion Zhang Weili and former champion Rose Namajunas is scheduled to take place at the co-main event.

A UFC Women's Flyweight Championship bout between current champion Valentina Shevchenko and former strawweight champion Jéssica Andrade will complete the triad of title fights.

A middleweight rematch between former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall was expected to take place at UFC 258 in February. They met previously in September 2010 at a Ring of Combat event for the organization's middleweight title, with Weidman winning via TKO. However, Weidman was pulled from that event in late-January due to a positive COVID-19 test. The pairing is expected to remain intact and take place at this event.

Johnny Walker was expected to face Jimmy Crute in a light heavyweight bout. However, Walker pulled out due to an injury and was replaced by former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Anthony Smith.

Randy Brown and Alex Oliveira were expected to meet in a welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane, but Brown pulled out due to undisclosed reasons. They are now scheduled to meet at this event.

A bantamweight bout between Mark Striegl and Johnny Muñoz was expected to take place at the event. However, Striegl was removed from the bout on March 24 due to undisclosed reasons and replaced by Jamey Simmons. In turn, Simmons also pulled out on April 8 for undisclosed reasons. As a result, Munoz was removed from the card as well and will rescheduled for a future event.







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