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UFC 261 live results: Usman vs. Masvidal 2, two more title fights

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Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2, emanating from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Octagon is back in front of a full arena of UFC fans for the first time since March 2020, and they are treated to a stacked card featuring three title fights.

In the main event, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman defends against his rival, Jorge Masvidal. It is a rematch from UFC 251 in July, which was won by Usman by unanimous decision. However, Masvidal took that fight on just a week's notice, something he has consistently reminded everyone of, and Usman asked for a rematch with Masvidal on a full training camp to show that the result would be no different.

In the second title fight, UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili returns for the first time since her Fight Of The Year with Joanna Jedrzejczyk in March 2020, and she will defend against former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas. Namajunas is coming off a win over Jessica Andrade in July to earn a shot at re-gaining the title she once held.

In the third title fight, UFC Women's Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko looks to continue her dominance of the division as she defends against former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade. Shevchenko is coming off a successful title defense over Jennifer Maia in November, while Andrade looks to win a title in a second division after a knockout win over Katlyn Chookagian in October earned her a title shot.

Also on the main card, it is a middleweight battle as Uriah Hall takes on former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, and former title challenger Anthony Smith goes against Jimmy Crute in the main card opener.

Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 6 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.

We are looking for your thoughts on tonight's event, so send a thumbs up, a thumbs down or a thumbs in the middle along with a best fight and a worst fight to Dave at dave@wrestlingobserver.com.

ESPN2 PRELIMS | 6 PM ET/3 PM PT

> Na Liang (15-4, 0-0 UFC) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (12-2, 0-1 UFC)
Women's Strawweights

They are teeing away off on each other and Liang lands some punches and Carnelossi landing some hard punches and Liang gets a takedown. They get to their feet and Carnelossi lands a left hook. They trade and Liang lands a right hand. They clinch and both are landing and Liang looks for a takedown against the fence and gets it. Liang picks Carnelossi up and slams her down for better position and goes for an armbar but Carnelossi escapes to the top. Liang tries for the armbar again but Carnelossi escapes and lands a right hand. Liang looking for a leg and Carnelossi landing some punches. Carnelossi gets in side control and is landing short punches and takes the back as she's landing. Liang has slowed down. Liang gets to her feet and lands some big punches. Carnelossi looking for a triangle and then gets a mounted triangle in and lands but Liang escapes. Carnelossi with some big punches at the end of the round. 10-9 Carnelossi.

Liang had to be carried to her corner and she's exhausted. They are teeing off to start the second. Liang gets a takedown and has the side against the fence and lands but Carnelossi gets the back and is looking for the choke. Carnelossi ends up in the guard of Liang and is landing punches. She's landing and the referee stops the fight. Nice win by Carnelossi in a wild fight.

Official Result- Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang by TKO (punches) at 1:28 of Round 2

> Qileng Aori (18-6, 0-0 UFC) vs. Jeffrey Molina (8-2, 0-0 UFC)
Flyweights

Molina with a leg kick. Aori with a body kick. They trade punches and kicks. They clinch against the fence. Molina with some knees and body punches. They break and both land right hands. Molina lands a combo and Aori lands a combo. Aori gets a big takedown. They get to their feel and Aori has the back standing. They get to the clinch and Aori with a knee to the body. They battle for underhooks before breaking. They trade right hands. Molina with a high kick. They trade late. 10-9 Aori.

They trade and Aori gets a brief takedown and has the back but they scramble up. Molina with a combo. Molina landing punches and kicks as Aori is looking for openings. Aori with a body kick and Molina grabs the leg and lands a right hand. Aori with a right hand. Molina with a right hand. Aori with a short right hand. Molina lands a right hand and Aori goes down for a second and then Aori lands and Molina slips down to the mat for a second. Aori then starts landing punches after Molina stands and they are trading. Aori lands a flying knee. They are trading. Aori with a spinning elbow. Aori with a right hand. Molina with a series of punches. They trade at the end and Molina drops Aori right down near the end with a right hand and might've finished it if time didn't run out. 10-9 Molina, 19-19.

They are teeing off to start the third and both are landing some good punches. Aori lands a right hand. Molina lands a combo. Molina lands a combo. Aori throwing punches. Molina with a right hand. Aori coming forward and throwing. Molina with a series of combos. Molina landing in close range. Aori showing no head movement. Molina landing lots of punches and is hurting Aori but Aori just standing there and taking them and is throwing. Molina with a standing elbow. Molina with combos after combos and he's landing big punches. They are trading and Molina is still landing with lots of volume but Aori is firing back. Molina with more punches. They are just standing and throwing late and the fight ends. This fight was wild. 10-9 Molina, 29-28 Molina.

Official Result- Jeffrey Molina def. Aoriqileng by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

> Kazula Vargas (11-4, 0-2 UFC) vs. Zhu Rong (17-3, 0-0 UFC)
Lightweights

Rong is the first fighter born in the 2000's to fight in the UFC. They are trading and both throwing big punches. Rong lands a right hand. Vargas landing with more volume in the first half of the fight. Vargas landing punches and kicks as Rong isn't doing a whole lot. Rong now lands a right hand. Vargas throwing the jab. Vargas with a combo. They trade at the end. 10-9 Vargas.

Rong lands and gets a takedown and Vargas has a guillotine locked in tight. Rong is trying to fight it off but Vargas is squeezing. Vargas still looking for it but Rong finally escapes and takes the back and is landing punches. Vargas then sweeps to the top and is working in the half-guard. They get to their feet and are clinched before breaking. Rong with a high kick that Vargas blocks. Rong goes for a late takedown. 10-9 Vargas, 20-18 Vargas.

Rong landing early. Rong with a right hand. Vargas lands some punches. They trade in close range. Vargas' punches are coming slower. Rong lands a right hand. Rong tags Vargas with a right hand. Rong lands a combo. Rong landing some good punches. They are both landing. They both continue to land and Rong is going for takedowns and gets it and they scramble and Rong ends up on top and lands at the end. 10-9 Rong, 29-28 Vargas.

Official Result- Kazula Vargas def. Rongzhu by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)

> Danaa Batgerel (7-2, 1-1 UFC) vs. Kevin Natividad (9-2, 0-1 UFC)
Bantamweights

They are trading early and Batgerel lands a high kick then a right hand and drops Natividad with a left hook and is landing and Herb Dean stops it. It might have been a little bit early as Natividad was defending but Batgerel was going to finish this anyways. Great win by Batgerel.

Official Result- Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad by TKO (punches) at :50 of Round 1

ESPN PRELIMS | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT

> Patrick Sabatini (13-3, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tristan Connelly (14-6, 1-0 UFC)
Featherweights

They were looking for openings and both were throwing, then Sabatini landed a left hook that rocked Connelly and was sending him down but Sabatini grabbed him and took him down. Sabatini working from the half-guard and landing punches. They continue to battle on the ground. Sabatini takes the back. Sabatini working for the choke as he lands punches from the back. Sabatini now going for the rear-naked choke and almost had it in. 10-9 Sabatini.

They trade to start the second. Connelly throws a right hand and Sabatini ducks under and gets a takedown. Sabatini stands and Connelly looks for upkicks but Sabatini passes to side control. Sabatini in control and then switches to the back. Connelly tries to stand and Sabatini is on his back and they scramble back to the ground and Sabatini is back in side control. Sabatini in the crucifix position and landing punches. Sabatini then gets the back and is squeezing tight with the body triangle. Sabatini threatens with an arm-triangle but Connelly turns and gives up his back. Connelly throwing back punches but Sabatini still has full back control as the round ends. 10-8 Sabatini, 20-17 Sabatini.

Sabatini coming forward and is looking for the takedown but Connelly keeps it upright. They tie up and both looking for underhooks. Connelly grabs the neck but lets go. They both battle in the tie-ups. They break and both are circling. Sabatini seems to be trying to stall out the fight. Connelly lands a right hand. Sabatini tries a takedown but Connelly sprawls and defends and they tie-up and go against the fence. They break and Connelly lands a right hand. Sabatini lands a right hand. They clinch and Connelly gets a takedown. Connelly ends the fight on top landing. 10-9 Connelly, 29-27 Sabatini. 

Official Result- Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

> Karl Roberson (9-3, 4-3 UFC) vs. Brendan Allen (15-4, 3-1 UFC)
Middleweights

Allen with a high kick to start. Allen with a leg kick. They trade jabs. Allen with a right hand and Roberson with a body kick. Roberson with a left hand. Allen with a right hand. Allen lands a right hand and a leg kick. They trade and clinch against the fence. Allen gets a takedown against the fence. Allen moves to the mount against the fence. They get to their feet and Allen gets a takedown and is working in the half-guard. Allen then rolls and attacks the leg and locks in a heel hook and gets Roberson to tap with less than ten seconds to go in the round. Outstanding showing by Allen.

Official Result- Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson by submission (heel hook) at 4:55 of Round 1

> Dwight Grant (10-3, 2-2 UFC) vs. Stefan Sekulic (12-3, 0-1 UFC)
Welterweights

Grant lands a right hand. Sekulic with a leg kick and Grant counters with a right hand. Not a whole lot of action going on two minutes in. Grant lands a left hand. Grant with a right hand to the body. Grant with a big inside leg kick after Sekulic lands a left hand. Sekulic just barely lands a flying knee. Grant with a left hand. Grant with a high kick. Sekulic looking for a takedown and kind of gets it late and they trade on the mat before getting to their feet at the end. 10-9 Grant.

They trade punches early but again not much happening in the first minute. Grant lands a right hand that rocks Sekulic. Grant now throwing with bad intentions and is landing. Sekulic tries a takedown but Grant defends and then Sekulic throws all sorts of strikes that miss. Grant just misses a left hook. They trade leg kicks. Sekulic gets a body-lock takedown. Grant easily works his way up to his feet. They trade punches. Sekulic shoots for a takedown but Grant defends against the fence as the round ends. 10-9 Grant, 20-18 Grant.

Grant with a leg kick. Sekulic lands a left hand and Grant gets a takedown and is in the guard of Sekulic and lands some punches. Grant gets to his feet and Sekulic stands. Sekulic with a leg kick. Sekulic shoots for a takedown against the fence and gets it. They get to their feet and Grant lands a right hand. Grant lands a right hand. Sekulic lands a short left hand and Grant counters with a big right hand. Sekulic lands a left hand that rocks Grant and then just misses a flying knee but gets Grant to the ground. Sekulic with a guillotine choke locked in. Grant is trying to fight it offf and he somehow survives the fight! Wow, what an ending. 10-9 Sekulic, 29-28 Grant.

Official Result- Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

> Alex Oliveira (22-8-1 2 NC, 11-7 1 NC UFC) vs. Randy Brown (12-4, 6-4 UFC)
Welterweights

Brown with a quick leg kick. Oliveira with a couple of leg kicks. We have a timeout for a groin strike but they get back to action. They trade leg kicks and Oliveira lands a leg kick that trips up Brown. Brown lands a hard right hand. Brown then drops Oliveira with a right hand and gets on top and was landing lots of punches but Oliveira survived. Brown then gets the mount and has the back as they stand. Brown then gets a standing rear-naked choke and is trying to get the hooks in as they go to the mount and Oliveira taps! Beautiful finish by Brown as he submits Oliveira with a one-armed rear-naked choke.

Official Result- Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:50 of Round 1

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> Anthony Smith (#6, 33-16, 9-6 UFC) vs. Jimmy Crute (#13, 12-1, 4-1 UFC)
Light Heavyweights

They trade body kicks to start. Smith lands the jab. Crute with a leg kick. Crute with more leg kicks. Smith lands a left hand and Crute lands a right hand. Crute with a leg kick and Smith pushes Crute back with a jab. Smith landing the jab at will. Crute lands a leg kick. They trade punches. Smith lands the jab but eats a leg kick from Crute. Smith lands a big right hand. Crute lands a left hook. Crute with a leg kick. Smith with some leg kicks. Crute falls to the ground afterwards and Smith tries to rush in and Crute gets a takedown and has the back and is landing punches. They get up and Crute drags it back to the ground but they stand and break. Crute gets another late takedown and ends the round on top landing. 10-9 Smith.

The fight was stopped in between rounds due to Crute's leg being badly injured and he couldn't even stand on it at all. Great call by the doctors and great win for Smith.

Official Result- Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute by TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1

> Uriah Hall (#9, 16-9, 9-7 UFC) vs. Chris Weidman (#11, 15-5, 11-5 UFC)
Middleweights

Weidman threw a kick and landed on the leg of Hall and Weidman's leg snapped in half. This was bad. It was exactly like when Weidman fought Anderson Silva at UFC 168 and Silva's leg snapped on a leg kick. Weidman is down and in tremendous amount of pain. I can't believe what I just saw.

Official Result- Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman by TKO (injury) at :17 of Round 1

> Valentina Shevchenko (C, 20-3, 9-2 UFC) vs. Jessica Andrade (#1, 21-8, 12-6 UFC)
UFC Women's Flyweight Championship

Shevchenko with a leg kick. Shevchenko with a left hand. Shevchenko with a combo. Andrade with a body kick. Shevchenko gets a takedown right into side control but they quickly get up. Shevchenko takes her right back down but they get up. Shevchenko has the back and Andrade with a back elbow. Shevchenko lands a kick as they break. Shevchenko lands and Andrade shoots for a takedown but Shevchenko defends. Shevchenko gets another takedown against the fence and is looking for a rear-naked choke but lets go. Shevchenko still has the back. Shevchenko landing some knees in the tie-up. Shevchenko gets another takedown and passes into side control. That's five takedowns so far. She ends the round there. 10-9 Shevchenko.

They trade and then Shevchenko gets a big takedown. Shevchenko in the half-guard and looking to set something up. Shevchenko landing from the top but Andrade gets it to the feet and has the body lock. Shevchenko landing short punches. Andrade trying to lift Shevchenko up but can't. Shevchenko gets Andrade back down to the mat. Shevchenko getting the crucifix position and starts to land punches. Andrade is stuck. Shevchenko landing elbows now. It is stopped. Dominant performance from Shevchenko as she retains the title.

Official Result- Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Andrade by TKO (elbows) at 3:19 of Round 2 to retain the UFC Women's Flyweight Championship

> Zhang Weili (C, 21-1, 5-0 UFC) vs. Rose Namajunas (#1, 9-4, 7-3 UFC)
UFC Women's Strawweight Championship

Weili with a leg kick. She lands another. They both throw and Weili with an inside leg kick. Weili with a leg kick. Namajunas then lands a head kick that sents Weili right down to the ground and lands some follow-up shots and it is stopped. What a finish by Namajunas! Weili was upset about the stoppage after but then saw a replay and wasn't as upset. Namajunas regains the title in an incredible finish.

Official Result- Rose Namajunas def. Zhang Weili by knockout (head kick) at 1:18 of Round 1 to win the UFC Women's Strawweight Championship

> Kamaru Usman (C, 18-1, 13-0 UFC) vs. Jorge Masvidal (#4, 35-14, 12-7 UFC)
UFC Welterweight Championship

Usman with the jab. Masvidal with a leg kick. Masvidal with a leg kick. Usman lands a right hand. Masvidal with a right to the body. Usman with a leg kick. Masvidal with a leg kick and they trade punches. Masvidal lands and then Usman gets a big takedown. Usman landing left hands and a couple went to the back of the head and Usman was warned. Masivdal landing from the bottom. Usman lands a big elbow. Masvidal landing a series of elbows from the bottom. They work their way to the fence and get to their feet. Usman lands some punches and they break. Masvidal with a leg kick. Usman lands a right hand and then the jab. Masvidal with a body kick. Masvidal with a leg kick. Masvidal with a combo then a flying knee. 10-9 Usman.

Masvidal with an inside leg kick. Masvidal with an inside leg kick. They trade punches. Usman then drops Masivdal with a right hand and hammerfists knock Masivdal out cold. Usman with the massive finish as he retains the title and settles the score with Masvidal.

Official Result- Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal by knockout (punches) at 1:02 of Round 2 to retain the UFC Welterweight Championship