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.
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 two main card fights before all the titles are on the line. Both come in the woman’s divisions, with super prospect Amanda Ribas facing off with Paige VanZant, and former champions Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade facing off in a much-anticipated rematch.
This post will cover the first two fights of the main card.
The card kicks off 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.
Round 1 - Thug Rose is feinting and staying out of range. Andrade is using head movement but not opening up. Namajunas puts together a combination but doesn’t land a thing. She goes low with kicks. She finally connects with a straight right. Jab. She’s ducking and dodging. Excellent so far. Two left hooks from Andrade land. Nice right hook and more jabs from Rose. Andrade with the left again, but she ate a counter. Lead left from Namajunas. Nice knee inside from Rose, and a front kick. Inside left kick from Andrade. Lead right from Namajunas. Andrade shoots but is welcomed with a knee to the grill. 10-9 Namajunas.
Round 2 - Namajunas presses and lands a body kick. Nice jab. Andrade with an inside leg kick. A lot of feinting. Andrade just misses with an uppercut. She lands hard to the body. Another slippery uppercut lands. They’re trading now. Rose with a lead right. Knees from both ladies. Namajunas with a lead left. Another. Low kick from Thug Rose. Andrade is looking for a takedown but nada. Low kick from Andrade. Jabs from Namajunas. Nice right hook from Andrade. Andrade trying to pressure and they trade. 10-9 Namajunas.
Round 3 - Measured start. Rose with a lead right and a jab. Another nice jab. Andrade with a nice shovel hook but she can’t get Namajunas to move back. Andrade presses. Andrade lands a good shot and hits a hip toss. Rose is immediately attacking from underneath, so Andrade backs out and stands up. Inside leg kick from Andrade. They trade big shots inside! Namajunas backs out and gets back to range. Andrade presses again and lands a couple of shots. Thug Rose gets a takedown but Andrade is up right away. Hard jab and uppercut from Andrade. Good fight. I’ll go 10-9 Andrade but 29-28 Namajunas.
Rose Namajunas defeated Jessica Andrade via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Round 1 - Ribas with a right cross and a knee. She gets inside and gets VanZant to the ground. She’s in side with a headlock. Ribas steps over and locks up an armbar! It looks tight and PVZ taps! She tried to roll over but she was stuck and had no choice. That was nice!
Amanda Ribas defeated Paige VanZant via submission (armbar), 2:21 of round 1