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Ufc 251

6 day(s) ago

UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns
The poster for UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateJuly 12, 2020 (2020-07-12)
VenueYas Island Beach[1] [2] [3]
CityYas Island,Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Event chronology
UFC on ESPN: Poirier vs. Hooker UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige

UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns is a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on July 12, 2020 at the UFC Fight Island facility on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[4] It was originally planned to take place on June 6 at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia.[5] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed on April 9 (see section below).[6] In early June, it was confirmed that the event would instead take place in Abu Dhabi.[4]


The event would have marked the promotion's second visit to Perth, following UFC 221 in February 2018. However, the promotion later announced on May 5 that it would officially postpone the realization of this event in Perth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

While not officially announced by the organization, a UFC Featherweight Championship rematch between current champion Alexander Volkanovski and former champion Max Holloway was originally expected to headline the event.[8] The pairing first met at UFC 245, where Volkanovski defeated Holloway via unanimous decision to capture the title.[9] Volkanovski indicated in late March that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he would postpone his title defense on the initial June 6 date.[10]

A UFC Women's Flyweight Championship bout between current champion Valentina Shevchenko and Joanne Calderwood was expected to take place on the event's first date.[11] However, Shevchenko was forced to withdraw from the event on March 31 due to a leg injury and the bout was postponed.[12]

Yas Island was also the site for three previous UFC events in Abu Dhabi. One of them, UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson, was held at du Arena. The other two Yas Island events, UFC 112 and UFC 242, were held at temporary venues.

COVID-19 pandemic, relocation to Abu Dhabi

UFC president Dana White stated on April 7 that he was pursuing an international venue — described as a "private island" or "Fight Island" — to facilitate the hosting of events involving fighters impacted by U.S. travel restrictions.[13][14]

On June 9, the UFC revealed that the "Fight Island" site would be Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and that it would host four UFC events in July.[4] This event will also be the fourth UFC event held on Yas Island, with its most recent having been UFC 242 in September 2019. Additionally, there will be a 10 square mile (16 km) "safety zone" on the island restricted to essential personnel. The designated area includes access to amenities such as hotels, restaurants and a training cage on the beach.[15]

Without fans in attendance, the promotion does not have to worry about the local timing of the event, so the plan is to proceed with normal timing for prime time hours on the east coast of North America. The main card is scheduled to begin at 6:00 am (July 12) local time in Abu Dhabi, with a full preliminary card beginning at approximately 2:00 am Gulf Standard Time.[16]

A UFC Welterweight Championship bout between current champion Kamaru Usman (also The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians welterweight winner) and Gilbert Burns is expected to headline the event.[17]

The previously mentioned UFC Featherweight Championship rematch between Volkanovski and Holloway is still expected to co-headline the event.[18]

A UFC Bantamweight Championship bout for the vacant title between Petr Yan and former WEC and two-time UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo is also expected to take place at the event.[19] Former champion Henry Cejudo announced immediately after his title defense at UFC 249 that he would be relinquishing the title and retire from the sport.[20]

The following fights were also rescheduled for this event, after being scrapped due to different reasons from their original bookings:

  • A women's strawweight rematch between former UFC Women's Strawweight Champions Jéssica Andrade and Rose Namajunas.[21] The pairing previously met at UFC 237 in May 2019, where Andrade won via second round TKO to capture the title.[22] They were originally expected to co-headline UFC 249.[23] However, Namajunas pulled out due to personal reasons, with her manager citing a pair of deaths in the family related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.[24][25]
  • A heavyweight bout between Shamil Abdurakhimov and Ciryl Gane.[26] The pairing was also scheduled for UFC 249. However, Gane was forced to pull out of the event after he was struck by a pneumothorax in training.[27] Subsequently, the pairing was cancelled a second time and scrapped from this event in mid-June as Abdurikhimov was removed from the bout for undisclosed reasons. In turn, Gane will be rescheduled for another event.[28]
  • A women's strawweight bout between Amanda Ribas and Paige VanZant.[29] They were initially scheduled for UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira in March. However, VanZant was forced to pull out of the fight due to an undisclosed injury.[30]

A bantamweight bout between Pedro Munhoz and former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar was briefly linked to the event. However, promotion officials elected to schedule the pairing four days later at UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige.[31]

Fight card

Main card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Welterweight Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Gilbert Burns [lower-alpha 1]
Featherweight Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway [lower-alpha 2]
Bantamweight Petr Yan vs. José Aldo [lower-alpha 3]
Women's Strawweight Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
Women's Flyweight Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
Preliminary Card (ESPN / ESPN+)
Light Heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiří Procházka
Welterweight Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Muslim Salikhov
Featherweight Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry
Lightweight Leonardo Santos vs. Roman Bogatov
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN / UFC Fight Pass / ESPN+)
Heavyweight Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Romanov
Flyweight Raulian Paiva vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Women's Bantamweight Karol Rosa vs. Vanessa Melo
Bantamweight Davey Grant vs. Martin Day


See also


  4. 1 2 3 Farah Hannoun (2020-06-09). "UFC 'Fight Island' is ... Yas Island, Abu Dhabi". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  5. Staff (2020-02-25). "Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanne Calderwood title fight heads to UFC 251 in Perth, Australia". Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  6. Damon Martin (2020-04-09). "UFC 249, upcoming events postponed due to coronavirus pandemic, Dana White promises 'Fight Island' will proceed". Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  7. Staff (2020-05-05). "UFC officially pulls plug on Perth's UFC 251 date". Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  8. Mookie Alexander (2020-02-25). "Alex Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway rematch to headline UFC 251". Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  9. Danny Segura (2019-12-15). "UFC 245 results: Alexander Volkanovski dethrones Max Holloway, captures UFC featherweight belt". Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  10. Sam Bruce (2020-03-29). "Alexander Volkanovski puts UFC title defense on ice amid coronavirus pandemic". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  11. Mike Bohn (2020-02-20). "Champ Valentina Shevchenko meets Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251 in June". Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  12. Danny Segura (2020-03-31). "Valentina Shevchenko injured; UFC 251 title fight vs. Joanne Calderwood on hold". Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  13. Steven Marrocco (2020-04-07). "Dana White's COVID-19 plan: Two months of weekly fights at UFC 249 location, a private island, and Joe Rogan". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  14. Brett Okamoto (2020-04-07). "UFC's White: Secured private island for fights". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  15. Brett Okamoto (2020-06-09). "White: Fight Island is in UAE, will host UFC 251". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  16. Jeff Wagenheim (2020-06-11). "What we know and don't know about 'Fight Island'". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  17. Farah Hannoun (2020-06-09). "Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns headlines UFC 251 on 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  18. Nolan King (2020-06-09). "Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway rematch set for UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  19. Farah Hannoun (2020-06-09). "Jose Aldo vs. Petr Yan bantamweight title fight set for UFC 251 on 'Fight Island'". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  20. Matt Erickson (2020-05-10). "Shocker: Henry Cejudo stops Dominick Cruz, then announces MMA retirement at UFC 249". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  21. Dave Doyle and Mike Bohn (2020-06-03). "Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade rematch booked for UFC's July 11 card". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  22. Sohail Syed (2019-05-12). "UFC 237 results – Jessica Andrade KO's Rose Namajunas in round 2, wins strawweight belt". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  23. Mike Bohn (2020-01-09). "Rose Namajunas, Jessica Andrade agree to rematch at UFC 249 in Brooklyn". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  24. Marc Raimondi and Ariel Helwani (2020-04-08). "Rose Namajunas pulls out of UFC 249 bout vs. Jessica Andrade". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  25. Newswire (2020-04-09). "Manager: Rose Namajunas withdrew from UFC 249 after COVID-19 deaths in family". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  26. Staff (2020-05-10). "Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane at UFC 251's IFW week event". Retrieved 2020-06-09. (in Dutch)
  27. Guilherme Cruz (2020-03-05). "Ciryl Gane out of UFC 249 fight with Shamil Abdurakhimov". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  28. Staff (2020-04-14). "Sergei Pavlovich encounters Ciryl Gane during the August 8 event". Retrieved 2020-06-15. (in Dutch)
  29. Raphael Marinho (2020-05-21). "Fight between Amanda Ribas and Paige VanZant is rescheduled for July 11 by UFC". Retrieved 2020-06-09. (in Portuguese)
  30. Jay Pettry (2020-01-24). "Report: Paige VanZant out, Randa Markos in against Amanda Ribas at UFC Brasilia". Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  31. Ross Markey (2020-06-16). "Pedro Munhoz vs. Frankie Edgar moved to UFC event on July 15th". Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  32. "UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-06-06.


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