UFC 261

UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2
UFC 261 poster.jpeg
The poster for UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateApril 24, 2021 (2021-04-24)
VenueVyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
CityJacksonville, Florida, United States
Total gate$3,300,000[1]
Event chronology
UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Gastelum UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Procházka

UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on April 24, 2021 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, United States.[3][4]


The promotion had initially planned to hold the event in Singapore. However, negotiations with the Singaporean government fizzled amongst COVID-19 protocols and the promotion initially turned to their home base of Las Vegas.[3] On March 15, UFC president Dana White announced the event would be moved to Jacksonville, Florida, with a full capacity of "15,000 UFC fans", marking the first time since UFC 248 in March 2020 that a full capacity crowd would be available (the UFC hosted a trio of events in Abu Dhabi in January with a limited number of fans).[4] Jacksonville also hosted the UFC's first fights back after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, before the organization started hosting events in either Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi.[4]

A UFC Welterweight Championship rematch between the current champion Kamaru Usman (also The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians welterweight winner) and Jorge Masvidal headlined the event.[4] They previously met at UFC 251, where Usman defended his title via unanimous decision.[5]

A UFC Women's Strawweight Championship bout between the current champion Zhang Weili and former champion Rose Namajunas took place as the co-main event.[6][7]

A UFC Women's Flyweight Championship bout between current champion Valentina Shevchenko and former strawweight champion Jéssica Andrade completed the triad of title fights.[8]

A middleweight rematch between former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall was expected to take place at UFC 258 in February.[9] They met previously in September 2010 at a Ring of Combat event for the organization's middleweight title, with Weidman winning via TKO.[10] However, Weidman was pulled from that event in late-January due to a positive COVID-19 test. The pairing remained intact and eventually took place at this event.[11][12]

Johnny Walker was expected to face Jimmy Crute in a light heavyweight bout.[13] However, Walker pulled out due to an injury and was replaced by former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Anthony Smith.[14]

Randy Brown and Alex Oliveira were expected to meet in a welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane, but Brown pulled out due to undisclosed reasons.[15] They eventually fought each other at this event.[16]

A bantamweight bout between Mark Striegl and Johnny Muñoz was expected to take place at the event.[17] However, Striegl was removed from the bout on March 24 due to undisclosed reasons and replaced by Jamey Simmons.[18] In turn, Simmons also pulled out on April 8 for undisclosed reasons. As a result, Munoz was removed from the card as well and will be rescheduled for a future event.[19]


Main card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Welterweight Kamaru Usman (c) def. Jorge Masvidal KO (punch) 2 1:02 [a]
Women’s Strawweight Rose Namajunas def. Zhang Weili (c) KO (head kick) 1 1:18 [b]
Women’s Flyweight Valentina Shevchenko (c) def. Jéssica Andrade TKO (elbows) 2 3:19 [c]
Middleweight Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman TKO (leg injury) 1 0:17
Light Heavyweight Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute TKO (doctor stoppage) 1 5:00
Preliminary card (ESPN / ESPN+)
Welterweight Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 2:50
Welterweight Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulić Decision (split) (28–29, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Middleweight Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson Submission (ankle lock) 1 4:55
Featherweight Patrick Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Early preliminary card (ESPN2 / ESPN+)
Bantamweight Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad TKO (punches) 1 0:50
Lightweight Rodrigo Vargas def. Rong Zhu Decision (unanimous) (30–26, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Flyweight Jeff Molina def. Qileng Aori Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–27) 3 5:00
Women’s Strawweight Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang TKO (punches) 2 1:28


Bonus awards

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[21]

  • Fight of the Night: Jeff Molina vs. Qileng Aori
  • Performance of the Night: Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas

See also


  1. ^ a b Mike Bohn (2021-04-25). "UFC 261 post-event facts: Kamaru Usman's octagon streak hits rarified air". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  2. ^ Mookie Alexander (2021-04-27). "Report: UFC 261 generated over 700,000 domestic pay-per-view buys". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  3. ^ a b Raphael Marinho (2021-02-18). "Without agreement to perform UFC 261 in Singapore, UFC opts for Las Vegas". globoesporte.globo.com. Retrieved 2021-02-18. (in Portuguese)
  4. ^ a b c d Staff (2021-03-15). "UFC 261 heads to Florida with Usman-Masvidal 2 leading three title fights in front of full crowd". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  5. ^ Andreas Hale (2020-07-14). "UFC 251 results: Kamaru Usman dominates Jorge Masvidal to retain UFC Welterweight title". dazn.com. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  6. ^ Ariel Helwani (2021-02-26). "Sources: Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas for strawweight title being targeted for UFC 261". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  7. ^ Mathew Scott (2021-03-09). "UFC 261: Zhang Weili confirmed to fight Rose Namajunas on April 24 in strawweight title clash". scmp.com. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  8. ^ Brett Okamoto (2021-02-24). "Valentina Shevchenko-Jessica Andrade flyweight title fight set for UFC 261". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  9. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-11-17). "Uriah Hall, Chris Weidman agree to rematch at UFC 258 on Feb. 13". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  10. ^ Keith D'Souza (2020-12-09). "Uriah Hall set to rematch Chris Weidman at UFC 258". essentiallysports.com. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  11. ^ Ariel Helwani (2021-01-28). "Chris Weidman tests positive for COVID-19, bout vs. Uriah Hall now off". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  12. ^ Mike Bohn (2021-01-29). "Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman rematch shifts from UFC 258 to UFC 261 after positive COVID-19 result". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  13. ^ Brett Okamoto (2021-01-02). "UFC light heavyweights Jimmy Crute, Johnny Walker agree to March 27 fight, sources say". espn.com. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  14. ^ Danny Segura (2021-02-09). "Anthony Smith replaces Johnny Walker, meets Jimmy Crute at UFC 261 in April". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
  15. ^ John Morgan (2021-02-22). "Randy Brown out of UFC Fight Night 186; Alex Oliveira needs new opponent". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  16. ^ Staff (2021-03-24). "Rescheduled matchup of Randy Brown vs. Alex Oliveira among additions to UFC 261". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  17. ^ Mike Heck (2021-03-03). "Johnny Munoz vs. Mark Striegl added to UFC 261". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  18. ^ Nolan King (2021-03-24). "With Mark Striegl out, Jamey Simmons targeted to fight Johnny Munoz at UFC 261". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  19. ^ Jack Welch (2021-04-08). "Johnny Munoz vs Jamey Simmons off for UFC 261". behindthegrind.co. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  20. ^ "UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  21. ^ Staff (2021-04-25). "UFC 261 bonuses: Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas among $50,000 no-brainers". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25.


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