Kamaru Usman to defend title against Jorge Masvidal in front of capacity crowd at UFC 261

The UFC is BACK in front of 15,000 fans from April 24th Dana White has announced, with UFC 261 providing another title triple header headlined by Kamaru Usman defending his title against Jorge Masvidal.

The UFC president announced in a social media video posted overnight on Monday that the organisation has agreed a deal with Jacksonville, Florida and that UFC 261 will now take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Usman called out Masvidal after his win at UFC 258 over Gilbert Burns with a third-round knockout of his former teammate, claiming that he wanted to finish the job he started at UFC 251.

The two fought on Fight Island last year when Burns withdrew from the bout after testing positive for COVID-19, with ‘Gamebred’ stepping in on just six-days’ notice. The fight went to a decision with Usman claiming it unanimously, but he wasn’t happy with the performance.

After taking little damage against Burns in February, Usman is making the quickest turnaround of his UFC career since the Ultimate Fighter days.

Their rematch will headline a card that had already been set for a double title fight in the women’s MMA world, with Valentina Shevchenko defending her belt against Jessica Andrade and Weili Zhang defending her strawweight title against Rose Namajunas.

Shevchenko has defended the title four times already and is widely considered one of the best women’s mixed martial artists ever, behind only Amanda Nunes. She’ll fight the Brazilian Andrade who after losing the strawweight championship and then losing her next bout too, moved up to 125lbs and KO’d former challenger Katlyn Chookagian in the first round to earn herself a title opportunity.

The woman who took that title off her will defend for the second time, as Zhang takes on former champion Namajunas in what is expected to be an extremely high level striking bout.

With the announcement that the entire card will take place in front of a capacity crowd in Florida, it will be the first time the UFC has held a card with fans since UFC 248.

Interestingly that was the time Zhang was last seen in the octagon as she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event in the 2020 fight of the year, with Israel Adesanya defeating Yoel Romero in the main event in a middleweight title fight.

The UFC is back in front of fans with a title fight triple-header on April 24th. Don’t miss it!

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