UFC 261

UFC 261 will be the UFC's fourth PPV card of the year and the first to feature a fully packed arena with American audiences. In fact, it is the first major sold-out sporting event with full capacity in an indoor arena in the United States since the COVID-related lockdowns began in Spring 2020. A crowd of more than 15,000 fans is expected.

The UFC 261 date is 24 April 2021. The UFC 261 COVID rules are very sparse, with fans not required to wear masks during the event. Along with that, ticket buyers have also signed a waiver that clears UFC of any responsibility if attendants contract COVID at the event, which includes death and disability from the disease.

The PPV venue is the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The UFC 261 Press Conference is scheduled for 4 PM on 22 April 2021. The rest of the UFC 261 schedule sees the weigh-ins on 23 April, and the UFC 261 fight card on 24 April.

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UFC 261: Main card

Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal: UFC welterweight championship bout

Zhang Weili (c) vs. Rose Namajunas: UFC strawweight championship bout

Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Andrade: UFC Women's flyweight championship bout

Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman: middleweight bout

Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute: light heavyweight bout

Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman looks to continue climbing the ladder to Georges St-Pierre by facing Jorge Masvidal for the second time in a title defense. Their last bout was at UFC 251, where 'The Nigerian Nightmare' won convincingly, but 'Gamebred' had taken the fight on six days' notice.

Zhang Weili will return to the Octagon 14 months after her first title defense in the Fight of the Year for 2020. She makes her return against fan-favorite Rose Namajunas, who is a former strawweight champion.

The woman Namajunas lost her title to was Jessica Andrade, who lost the belt to 'Magnum'. But she is looking to become the women's flyweight champion against the unstoppable current champion in Valentina Shevchenko.

The two non-title bouts feature former middleweight champion Chris Weidman facing TUF standout Uriah Hall. Former light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Smith looks to stop his slide down the rankings against rising contender Jimmy Crute.

UFC 261: Preliminary card

Alex Oliveira vs. Randy Brown: welterweight bout

Dwight Grant vs. Stefan Sekulic: welterweight bout

Karl Roberson vs. Brendan Allen: middleweight bout

Patrick Sabatini vs. Tristan Connelly: featherweight bout

UFC 261: Early preliminary card

Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad: bantamweight bout

Kazula Vargas vs. Rongzhu: lightweight bout

Aoriqileng vs. Jeffrey Molina: flyweight bout

Liang Na vs. Ariane Carnelossi: strawweight bout

Where to watch UFC 261?

United States: Main card: Pay-per-view / Prelims- simulcast on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ in English and Spanish

India: Sony Ten 2, live streaming on Sony App

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United Kingdom: BT Sport 1, live streaming on BT Sport app

Canada: TSN4 and TSN5

What time does UFC 261 start?

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The massive PPV will start at 6 PM (ET) with the early prelims. The preliminary card will start at 8 PM (ET), while the main card is expected to start by 10 PM (ET).