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UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal prelims live results, discussion, play by play

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Live, blow-by-blow updates for today’s UFC 251 preliminary card from Vegas. To stream UFC 251 LIVE on ESPN+ PPV click here!

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Join us today on Bloody Elbow for live results, discussion, round scoring, and play-by-play as UFC 251 goes down on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

UFC 251

The biggest card of the year has three title fights on top. The main event will see Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal. In the co-main, Alexander Volkanovski will look to take out Max Holloway for the second time. And Petr Yan will face of with the legend, Jose Aldo, for the vacant bantamweight title.

This post will cover the preliminary card. The feature fight on the prelims will see former 205-pound title challenger Volkan Oezdemir taking on the debuting Jiri Prochazka.

We’ll start on Fight Pass and ESPN+ at approximately 6pm ET with four fights. The card then moves to ESPN and stays on ESPN+ at 8pm ET for four more bouts, then onto the main PPV card at 10pm ET. The full lineup and schedule follows. The preliminary card will be covered in a separate post.

Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka

Round 1 - Prochazka gets clipped right away. Prochazka with a front kick. Oezdemir jumps in with punches but misses. Prochazka lands a nice jab, and again. Nice outside leg kick from Oezdemir, and he jumps in with a right hook. Prochazka laughs at him, firing back. Both land jabs, and both land uppercuts. Interesting. Low kick from Prochazka but Oezdemir lands a counter. Inside low kick from Oezdemir. Two big shots from Oezdemir. Prochazka is getting lit up, two right hooks and a couple of jabs, and the announcers are ignoring it. 10-9 Oezdemir.

Round 2 - Lead right hook from Prochazka. Oezdemir with a lead right hook. Prochazka with a low kick, then a head kick. Oezdemir backed off a bit, and a right hook dropped him! That was it! WOW! Prochazka lives up to the hype!

Jiri Prochazka defeated Volkan Oezdemir via KO (strikes), :49 of round 2

Muslim Salikhov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Round 1 - Salkhov is landing inside leg kicks early. Zaleski spins but misses. Inside leg kick from Zaleski but he eats a counter. Nice left hook from Salikhov. Zaleski shoots but nada. Not a lot happening. A lot of staring. Zaleski lands a hook late that had Salikhov on the back foot. He presses but can’t get anywhere. 10-9 Zaleski,

Round 2 - Slow start. Wrestling that gets nowhere from the Russian. Zaleski with a big right hook that thuds on Salikhov’s head. They wrestle for a while, no one came out on top. Salikhov lands a nice counter left. Zaleski kicks low. Inside uppercut from Salikhov. Left hook counter too. Another nice left. 10-9 Salikhov.

Round 3 - Zaleski presses and lands a right hook. Salikhov scores with a body shot, and then a left hook. Zaleski misses wth the home run shot. A lot of feintng now. Nice counter from Salikhov. Short right from Zaleski of a miss, and he lands a pretty counter too. Salikhov is coming up short with his offence. Nice right hook though. Zaleski isn’t doing much. 10-9 Salikhov and 29-28 overall.

Muslim Salikhov defeated Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos via split decision 30-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Makwin Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry

Round 1 - Slow start. Low kicks for both men. Switch kick to the body for Henry. Jump knee into a takedown attempt. Amirkhani has a hook, and flips over to a variation of a guillotine. It’s an anaconda! Henry tries his best to escape but cannot, he taps! That was pretty!

Makwan Amirkhani defeated Danny Henry via submission (Anaconda choke), 3:15 of round 1

Roman Bogatov vs. Leonardo Santos

Round 1 - Santos slips. No damage though. Low kick. Eye poke from Bogatov and we get a break. The replay wasn’t pretty. Zero-eyed Bisping commenting on this is funny. Bogatov shoots in immediately but gets nowhere. Santos kicks the leg. Bogatov is pressuring and lands to the body. Bogatov lands to the body again and shoots, but Santos resists and stays upright. He gets in on a single late but Santos ends up on his back. 10-9 Santos.

Round 2 - Bogotov is pressing right away, but eats a leg kick. He shoots in for a takedown and stays against the cage for a while. Nothing doing. Santos with a nice knee inside. A right hurts Bogatov and he begs off! Two more and Bogtaov is basically out on his feet! To his credit, he’s still on his feet and just circles out. Santos jumps on him with a ton of hammerfists, but can’t get the finish. Bogatov reverses and he’s on top! That showed a ton of heart. He pops out of guard and lands big shots! Super impresed with his durability. 10-9 Santos nonetheless.

Round 3 - Bogatov shoots immediately. Bogatov lands to the cup again and Santos is not loving life. He’s on his back two minutes into to stoppage time in serious pain. Ugh. His opponent is standing beside him, watching the non-action. Santos is up, but not feeling it. He agree to get back to fighting after four minutes, but seems to still be in distress. Bogatov scoops a single but gets nowhere. Again. Santos secures an arm and easily defends. Bogatov keeps trying and actually gets Santos down, but only for a second. Oh no, he lands low with a knee again in the clinch against the cage. Marc Goddard still doesn’t take a point. In my opinion, he probably should have. They restart and Bogatov shoots right away. He manages to drag Santos his knees, then land a blatantly illegal knee! Yikes. There was no question that Santos was a downed fighter. Goddard is asking Santos if he wants to continue. GODDARD TAKES TWO POINTS! WOW!. Santos restarts and he’s pressing the action. Bogatov ties him up and lands a left. They go to the ground before the horn. I have to do some math here. I honestly had that round for Bogatov before all the tomfoolery, but with the deductions, i guess it’s 9-8 Santos? So 29-26?

Leonardo Santos defeated Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26)

Maxim Grishin vs. Marcin Tybura

Round 1 - Clnich battle immediately. A lot of time there. Too much. Tybura is trying very hard for a takedown but wasn’t even close. Jon Anik called the round “pedestrian”, and that is correct. Tybura drags Grishin to his knees, but can’t get him any further. That wasn’t an entertaining round. 10-9 Tybura.

Round 2 - Cup check from Grishin. Actually was it? The replay made it seem not as bad. They clinch up against the cage. Low blow? This is weird. Herb Dean resets them against the cage wall. Tybura scoops a single but no dice. He lands a right elbow over the top. More takedown attempts, more failure. Grishin with an elbow on the break. The pace slows. They clinch. Tybura with a late takedown. 10-9 Tybura.

Round 3 - Leg kick from both men. Grishin is evading shots well. Tybura has had enough of that and he jumps on Grishin against the cage, looking for a takedown. Grishin is defending well. Or he was, until Tybura used a nice misdirection switch to get Grishin to the mat on his back. He passes and takes his back. Grishin is defending well but Tybura secures a body triangle. He ends up on the back in a strange position. 10-9 and 30-27 Tybura.

Marcin Tybura defeated Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Round 1 - Inside leg kick from Zhumagulov. Zhumagulov responds. They both throw high kicks. Zhumagulov works the body. So many head kicks from Paiva. He has the range advantage here. More body kicks from Zhumagulov. Really not a lot going here though. More body kicks. 10-9 Paiva,

Round 2 - Paiva gets wobbled by the first exchange, but nothing major. A slip? Paiva with low kicks, and working the body. Zhumagulov does the same. Nice knee inside. They clinch briefly, but reset. They’re fighting at archery range, neither is landing anything. Zhumagulov is bringing good pressure. But Paiva is pushing him off. Paiva clinches but can’t get a takedown until very late in the round. This isn’t super exciting. 10-9 Paiva.

Round 3 - Zhumagulov is looking to throw low kicks, but Paiva is defending. He throws a kick but gets cracked back. Zhumagulov shoots and actually gets a takedown, but only for a second. They trade low kicks. Inside leg kick from Zhumagulov, and they clinch briefly. Nice shot from Zhumagulov. Low kick. Ugh, Paiva is hurt. Cornuts cam confirms. Back to the restart, Zhumagulov wants to grapple but Paiva lands a good knee inside. 10-9 Paiva and 30-27.

Raulian Paiva defeated Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Vanessa Melo vs. Karol Rosa

Round 1 - Plenty of strikes exchanged in the opening 30 seconds but neither woman landing too much cleanly. Strong leg kick by Rosa. And again. Stiff jab by right hand by Rosa and then she slips afterward. Left hook by Rosa tags Melo upstairs. It’s all Rosa early on. Melo connects on a short left hand but she has no answers for those leg kicks. Another slip by Rosa. Leg kick by Melo is countered by a Rosa jab. Good takedown from Rosa puts Melo on her back. Not much happening from Rosa in Melo’s closed guard but it’s nevertheless a one-sided round in favor of Karol. 10-9 Rosa.

Round 2 - Stiff jab from Rosa yet again. Pace slows to start round two and then Rosa fires off a successful 1-2. Heavy left hook by Rosa. Melo shoots for a takedown, has it stuffed, and takes a knee upstairs. Melo clinches up Rosa but is easily reversed by Rosa, who now has her against the cage. Rosa turns the clinch into another takedown, and drops an elbow on Melo’s face from half-guard. Melo taking a bunch of left hands and she’s in trouble. She’s just stuck and eating a bunch of shots. Rosa in full mount briefly. Melo needs a miracle. 20-17 Rosa.

Round 3 - Jab scores for Rosa for the umpteenth time. Melo with a jab to the stomach. Rosa responds with a right to the top of Melo’s head. Switch knee by Rosa and then an elbow. Melo able to stuff Rosa’s takedown and land a left hook after the sprawl. Good leg kick by Melo. A 1-2 and a leg kick by Melo, who’s finishing this right well but she needs a finish. Rosa initiates the clinch to stem the tide of Melo’s offense with a minute to go. Essentially running the clock out here and that should be enough to get Rosa the win, although Melo takes the final round on my scorecard. 29-27 Rosa.

Official result: Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Martin Day vs. Davey Grant

Round 1 - Mookie here spelling for Tim on the first couple of fights. But if I did my job poorly this was Tim all along. Good leg kick from Grant. Right to the body by Grant. High kick by Day is blocked. Right to the body again for Grant. Day having trouble finding his range early on. And on cue he decks Grant with a right hand! Martin is on top in Grant’s closed guard. Grant returns to his feet without taking any serious additional damage following the knockdown. Short hook to the body by Day. Leg kick by Day. Grant changes levels and gets the first takedown of the fight. Day steadily works his way back up and then is shoved back down. 10-9 Day.

Round 2 - Day eats a body kick. Grant misfires on a combination. Grant fires and lands a right hand around the side of the head. Good body jab by Day and then a kick. He goes for a spinning attack and it partially lands. Grant comes in and then exits with a body shot. Lands a right hand upstairs. Some good work on the feet by Grant at the moment. Flying knee nearly caught Day. Poor shot by Grant and Day easily defends. Three-piece by Grant stuns Day. Martin Day is hurt and a left hook tags him, as does a right hand! Another right by Grant and a standing elbow. A knee and a right hand and a body shot-left hook upstairs combo! Big uppercut by Grant! Day is in trouble. Wayward flying knee by Grant but no issue as he gets the takedown into side control. In the scramble he goes for the guillotine but Day rolls out of it. Grant gets back into side control and now north-south. Grant goes for the armbar! He loses the submission and the position and now Day is on top. Grant keeping an active guard and threatening a triangle. The Englishman is back to his feet. Spinning back kick to the body puts Grant on the floor but that was clearly a Grant round. 19-19.

Round 3 - Superman punch by Day gets Grant’s attention. Day really swinging for the fences here and back comes Grant with a wildly inaccurate spinning backfist. Good entry on a single leg by Grant. The Hawaiian slides the leg out of there and lands a left hook shortly thereafter, followed by a right elbow. Straight right and a left hook for Day. Grant connects on a left. Another body shot by Grant and a left hook as Day came forward. One more left hook from Grant. Two jabs by Day and then a right by him. Halfway through the final round. KNOCKOUT WIN FOR GRANT! WHAT A LEFT HAND! Day is out cold!

Official result: Davey Grant def. Martin Day by KO (punch) at 2:38 of round 3