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One title changes hands, Chris Weidman breaks leg at UFC 261


Image: UFC/Getty

On a night that featured the UFC's first full house crowd in more than a year and the most ironic of leg breaks, two out of three champions going into the show came out successful after Saturday's UFC 261 with all three title fights ending in finishes.

In the main event, Kamaru Usman remained undefeated in the UFC with a second round knockout of Jorge Masvidal to retain his welterweight title, his fourth successful title defense. After a close first round, Usman blasted Masvidal with a straight right hand that nearly had him out, followed by a few hammer fists that closed the show. He has now won fourteen fights in a row while Masvidal has lost straight, both to Usman. This was the first time he's been knocked out in an MMA fight.

In the highly-anticipated co-main event, Rose Namajunas reclaimed the women's strawweight title with a first round knockout of Zhang Weili. Namajunas slipped a head kick through which had Weili on her back. A few hard punches for Namajunas later and it was over at 1:18 of the round. Namajunas won the title in November 2017 and defended the title once before losing it to Jessica Andrade. This was Weili's second defense since defeating Andrade for the title in August 2019.

In the night's first title fight, women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko continued her dominance with a second round TKO win over the aforementioned Andrade, her seventh straight win and the fifth defense of her title.

After a first round in which she controlled Andrade all over the cage, it was more of the same in the second round. Shevchenko eventually worked into a crucifix and laid in punches and a barrage of elbows, one of which cut her open. After it was obvious Andrade wasn't going to escape, the fight was called.

Arguably the biggest news was earlier on the pay-per-view main card as former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman snapped his leg on a kick just seconds into his bout with Uriah Hall. More than seven years ago, Anderson Silva famously snapped his leg on a kick to then-champion Weidman's leg in their rematch.

Weidman was stretchered out of the arena and Hall won via first round TKO. Later on the broadcast, they said Weidman is stable and will have surgery Sunday.

Even more ironically, Jimmy Crute suffered a leg injury of his own in the PPV opener against Anthony Smith that saw him unable to stand on as his ankle kept flopping to the side. However, it was believed to be a temporary nerve issue and he will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. Smith won the fight by first round TKO.

The event was held in front of a sold-out Vystar Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with more than 15,000 fans in the building.