The stars of UFC 261 have made weight and refuelled after the early-morning official weigh-ins in Jacksonville, and now the time has come for the fighters to face off in front of the fans ahead of fight night in Florida.
The main event will feature a battle for the undisputed UFC welterweight championship, as defending champion Kamaru Usman looks to continue his title reign – and extend his winning streak to 18 fights – when he faces Jorge Masvidal in a title rematch.
Masvidal, who finished Nate Diaz to capture the UFC’s one-off “BMF” title in 2019, lost out to Usman on the scorecards after stepping in on six days notice to face “The Nigerian Nightmare” at UFC 251 last year.
But now he has had a full training camp, and vows to put things right in the rematch. Usman, meanwhile, plans to deliver an even more emphatic performance the second time around.
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The fight card in Jacksonville is a pair of women’s title fights.
The co-main event will see China’s reigning UFC women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili put her 115-pound title on the line against former champion, America’s Rose Namajunas.
The women’s flyweight title is also on the line, as long-reigning champion Valentina Shevchenko faces off against former strawweight champ Jessica Andrade.
Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is also set for action on Saturday night.
He takes on old adversary Uriah Hall in a middleweight clash, and hopes that victory over “Prime Time” will help position him for another run toward the 185-pound title he previously won by spectacularly ending the legendary reign of Anderson Silva at UFC 162 in 2013.
Weidman then defeated Silva again in the rematch after the Brazilian suffered a horrific broken leg, then defeated two more Brazilian legends, Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, before losing the belt to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 in December 2015.
Weidman has struggled to find his way back to the belt since, but feels victory over Hall could push him back into the title conversation at 185 pounds.
All of the fighters on the card successfully made weight during the morning weigh-in session, and in the video above you can watch the fighters face off for the final time before they throw leather inside the octagon on Saturday night.
UFC 261 fight card
- Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Jorge Masvidal – for welterweight title
- Zhang Weili (c) vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
- Valentina Shevchenko (c) vs. Jessica Andrade – for women’s flyweight title
- Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman – middleweight bout
- Anthony Smith vs. Jimmy Crute – light heavyweight bout
- 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
- Danaa Batgerel vs. Kevin Natividad – bantamweight bout
- Kazula Vargas vs. Rong Zhu – lightweight bout
- Qileng Aori vs. Jeffrey Molina – flyweight bout
- Na Liang vs. Ariane Carnelossi – women’s strawweight bout
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