The top of the UFC 251 billing saw welterweight champ, Kamaru Usman, successfully defeat BMF champion, Jorge Masvidal, to retain his welterweight belt. Masvidal started strong, but Usman took control in the fifth frame and held on to it. He neutralized the challenger and chipped away, doing what was necessary to secure the win and keep his title. Usman has won all-twelve of his UFC bouts and has now successfully defended his belt for the second time.
Masvidal charged hard right out of the gate with leg kicks. Usman caught one of them and took top position inside the full guard, but Masvidal scrambled until he was up and free. Masvidal went back to landing his leg kicks and snuck in a few punches before Usman clinched up. After a bit of control, the fight returned to the center of the Octagon. Usman pressed forward, but ate several counters for his troubles.
Usman looked to clinch up right away in the second round. He shoved Masvidal’s back to the cage and looked to control and score with foot stomps and shoulder shrugs. Masvidal snuck in a few elbows here and there, but struggled to get any separation. Once he finally did get free, he was able to land a couple of clean punches before the bell.
Usman pressured forward in the third round, grinding on Masvidal against the fence. There were moments when Usman would break free and Masvidal would land some leather, but then Usman would close the distance again. An accidental cup strike resulted in a break in the action. The fight resumed and Usman found a moment to blast a takedown. Jorge made it up to his feet but usman scooped him up and slammed him back down. A couple of elbows connected for Usman just before the bell.
A huge body kick scored for Usman to start the fourth round. He then quickly shot in for a takedown, and although Masvidal stuffed it, Usman had his opponent’s back to the fence. Masvidal was getting controlled, but he would not allow Usman to take him down and keep him down. The BMF champ was able to land with a stinging punch in a moment of freedom, but it wasn’t long before Usman had him pinned against the fence again.
It about a minute before Usman achieved a takedown in the fifth frame. Usman racked up a ton of top control time, doing enough to avoid a stand up with Masvidal struggling to get back up. Masvidal finally made it to his feet, and did his best to land what he could in the closing moments of the fight, but couldn’t produce a finish before running out of time.