UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II Main Card Matchmaking

PC: Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via KO (Punch)

Kamaru Usman – Colby Covington

Dana White confirmed that Covington was going to be next for the winner of the title fight. There are a couple other fights that could shuffle things a little bit with Leon Edwards, Nate Diaz, Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson all potentially making a case. Given the fact Dana White confirmed it, Colby should be next for Usman. It’s important to note that Covington has also given Usman the toughest test he has had a champion.

Jorge Masvidal – Nick Diaz

Jorge Masvidal showed true class after the fight sticking around with fans and congratulating Usman on the victory. After losing to the Champion twice, Masvidal will likely be a few fights away from another shot. There are plenty of options for Masvidal still available since that BMF title is still on his shoulder. A fight with the returning Nick Diaz who was in attendance could be a massive PPV headliner.

Rose Namajunas def. Weili Zhang via KO (Head Kick)

Rose Namajunas – Carla Esparza / Yan Xiaonan winner

Rose Namajunas shocked the world once again with an emphatic head kick victory over Zhang in their title bout. She is now the first female to recapture a title that they had once lost. Namajunas has plenty of options on who to face next but a strawweight bout in June may determine the next contender. Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan are set to collide on May 22 with the winner likely being next for Rose.

Weili Zhang – Marina Rodriguez

After a fight of the year level performance in her last outing, many expected Weili Zhang to have a similar night on Saturday. Unfortunately, she got caught with a head kick early and never got a chance to get going. Dana White hinted at a potential rematch, but given she only had one title defense it’s a bit hard to justify in my opinion. A match up with another striker in Marina Rodriguez would be a nice co-main event that could be considered a title eliminator.

Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Andrade via TKO (Elbows)

Valentina Shevchenko – Lauren Murphy / Joanne Calderwood winner

Valentina Shevchenko came out with a point to prove on Saturday night and beat Andrade at her own game. Shevchenko confirmed after the fight that she had no intention of moving up and was going to keep taking on all comers at 125lbs. Lauren Murphy and Joanne Calderwood are expected to face off in June. Neither woman has competed against the Champion so the winner would offer a new face for Shevchenko.

Jessica Andrade – Cynthia Calvillo

Jessica Andrade’s bid at winning a belt in a second weight class came up short. She didn’t have an answer for Valentina’s strength and aggression in the clinch. She is still the hardest hitter in the division and will be a tough matchup for just about anyone. Cynthia Calvillo is the only woman inside the Top 8 available at the moment and is also coming off a loss.

Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman via TKO (Leg Injury)

Uriah Hall – Darren Till

Uriah Hall becomes the first fighter in UFC history to win a fight without throwing a strike. Hall was classy in victory and was even emotional when being interviewed. He has now extended his win streak to four and will be looking at fighters ahead of him for his next fight. Darren Till was forced out of his fight with Marvin Vettori due to injury and will need a fight soon. Stylistically this fight has all the makings of a FOTN contender.

Chris Weidman – Recovery

The likelihood of Chris Weidman having an identical injury to Anderson Silva is super bizarre. It was hard to watch for UFC fans around the world as the pain on Weidman’s face on the way out was overwhelming. Weidman had a successful surgery but a return is too far away to be making matchups for him. At this stage in his career we may not see him again after that injury. Out of respect for Weidman, no matchup will be made at this time.

Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via TKO (Doctor Stoppage)

Anthony Smith – Magomed Ankalaev

Anthony Smith has appeared in seven consecutive main events heading into Saturday nights fight. It must have been nice for Smith to get a three round fight to start off his 2021 campaign. He has now defeated two fighters beneath him in the rankings and should get another rising contender in his next one. Magomed Ankalaev is a man on a mission winning six in a row. A fight between the #6 and #7 ranked Light Heavyweights could easily headline a Fight Night card.

Jimmy Crute – Da Un Jung

Jimmy Crute will be furious for a few weeks after this one. Unfortunately, his body wasn’t able to hold up from the leg kick and the doctor was forced to stop it. He was devastated inside the octagon, and that will likely carry over into his next fight. Da Un Jung is undefeated in the UFC and is due for a ranked opponent. It gives both gentlemen an opportunity to fight for a coveted spot in the Top 15.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

Leave a Reply