In the face of a global pandemic, when nothing in the world is a hundred percent certain, the UFC has gone to great lengths to ensure that it keeps running its business. UFC 251 is about to be one of the biggest testimonials for the same. Kicking off president Dana White’s ambitious plan of Fight Island, the card boasts of not one or two but three title fights. Here is everything you need to know about the highly anticipated event.
There's no peace on this island. 🏝
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2020
UFC 251: Main Card
Triple headers are not very common in the UFC. However, it seems that the stars have aligned in the favor of the fans who will be treated to a slew of action-packed fights. A fight for the welterweight title between champ Kamaru Usman and challenger Jorge Masvidal will headline the event. Masvidal is taking the fight on six-days notice after the initial challenger Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the fight will be the second title defense of welterweight champ Kamaru Usman who won the belt last year by edging out Tyron Woodley. Usman is a -290 favorite heading into the fight. The rivalry between him and ‘Fighter of the Year’ 2019, Jorge Masvidal, is very public. The two have been throwing verbal jabs at each other. Therefore, when the door of the Octagon closes fans will have very high expectations from the two men.
The second title fight is a rematch between featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski and former champ Max Holloway. Volkanovski won the belt from the Hawaiian Holloway via a unanimous decision victory last year. Despite being the champ, Volkanovski believes he has a chip on his shoulders. On the other hand, ‘Blessed’ says he is approaching the fight just like any other fight of his career.
— UFC (@ufc) July 2, 2020
The final title fight is for the vacant Bantamweight belt where surging contender Petr Yan meets former featherweight champ, Jose Aldo. The other two fights that complete the main card include a rematch between former strawweight champs, Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade. A fight between flyweight contenders Paige VanZant and Amanda Ribas will open the main event.
UFC 251: Prelims and Early Prelims
The prelims will be headlined by a fight between two light heavyweights Volkan Oezdemir and Jiří Procházka. A former title challenger, Oezdemir, shot to prominence with the first three fights in the UFC. However, a jump in the competition was too much to handle for the former kickboxer. On the other hand, Procházka is a promotional newcomer who is undefeated in his professional career.
The fight between welterweights Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos and Muslim Salikhov has the potential to be a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance. Both the fighters are flashy strikers with a knack for post-fight bonus awards. The two share a common goal as of now, to break into the stacked 170-pounds rankings.
— UFC (@ufc) July 3, 2020
The two other fights that complete the prelims are a featherweight scrap between Makwan Amirkhani and Danny Henry along with a lightweight contest between Leonardo Santos and Roman Bogatov. The early prelims is made up of the following fights.
- Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov; Heavyweight
- Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov; Flyweight
- Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo; Women’s Bantamweight
- Davey Grant vs. Martin Day; Bantamweight
When and Where will UFC 251 take place
After two months of action spread over Jacksonville, Florida and UFC Apex in Las Vegas, the UFC is headed over to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Dana White conceived the idea of ‘Fight Island’ as international fighters could not come into the USA due to travel restrictions. UFC 251 will be the first one of a month-long of action that consists of four events in total.
Welcome to #UFCFightIsland!
— UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020
UFC 251 will take place this Saturday, July 11th. The main card begins at 6 a.m local time, which is 10 p.m. ET and 7:30 a.m. IST. Usman and Masvidal are expected to face-off around 8:30 a.m. local time, although it depends on the length of the fight before the main event.
The prelims and early prelims begin at 4 a.m. and 2 a.m. local time respectively.
How to watch UFC 251 in different parts of the world
In the US, early prelims are available on UFC Fight Pass, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. The prelims will be available exclusively on ESPN and ESPN+. The main card will be a PPV event available only on ESPN+. The PPV costs $64.99. Users will also need a subscription of ESPN+, which comes for $4.99 per month. For new subscribers, the PPV and ESPN+ come at a bundle cost of $84.98.
In Canada, the early prelims are available on UFC Fight Pass and TSN. Fans can view the action of the prelims on TSN and RDS. The main card will be available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, and Eastlink, as well as UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
In Australia, the home of defending featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski, early prelims and prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN. The main card which begins at 12 p.m./10 a.m. AEST/AWST (Sunday) will be available on Main Event and Fetch TV, plus UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
In the UK and Ireland, the early prelims and the main card are available on UFC Fight Pass and BT Sport respectively. The prelims are available on both UFC Fight Pass and BT Sport.
In India, the prelims and early prelims will be available on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD. Fans can also stream the action live on the SonyLiv app.