UFC 261: Usman Vs Masvidal UK Time, Fight Card, Stream Info And Latest News
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If this trailer doesn't give you goosebumps, then we don't know what will:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns for their first event with live fans in over 13 months from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Area in Jacksonville, Florida.
And boy, are they giving the sold-out crowd of 15,000 people their money's worth...
Featuring three championship fights, Usman and Masvidal will go head-to-head in what is more than likely to be an all-out scrap for the coveted welterweight title.
So what time does everything kick off and where can you watch the fight?
Here, SPORTbible takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of this weekend's star-studded card.
When is UFC 261?
UFC 261 is taking place in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Area in Jacksonville, Floria on April 24.
FIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT WEEEEEEEEK!!!! I can't wait for this Saturday Night!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/HJH2TeAnNz
- danawhite (@danawhite) April 19, 2021
What time will it be on?
Fans in the UK should prepare themselves for a late one - this is not a card you want to miss.
The event is due to start around 3am on Sunday, April 25 with Zhang Weili versus Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko against Jessica Andrade taking place before Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal take centre stage around 6am.
How can I watch it?
Fight fans will be pleased to know the event isn't on pay-per-view.
Instead, viewers in the UK can tune into BT Sport 1 at 1am for live coverage.
For those on-the-go or working late, the fight can also be streamed on BT Sport's website and app for their subscribers.
If you don't have BT Sport and you're an EE customer - then you're in luck.
By texting 'SPORT' to 150, you can claim yourself a three-month free trial of BT Sport and can cancel at any time within the three-month period.
UFC 261 fight card
Kamaru Usman (Champion) Vs Jorge Masvidal, Welterweight
Nine months after colliding on short notice, Usman and Masvidal clash for a second time with the welterweight title once again hanging in the balance.
The difference this time? Both champion and challenger have had ample time to prepare.
Full camp, no excuses. It's time to end it. #UFC261 pic.twitter.com/B5cC0vNK4P
- UFC (@ufc) April 21, 2021
Usman earned his third successful title defense earlier this year, steadying himself after getting wobbled early to secure a third-round stoppage win over his former teammate and training partner Gilbert Burns.
Now a perfect 13-0 in the UFC - three back of tying Anderson Silva's record for consecutive victories inside the Octagon - "The Nigerian Nightmare" sought out this second meeting with Masvidal in the hopes of silencing his talkative rival once and for all.
Write off Masvidal at your own peril, though.
This is the chance for Masvidal to finally capture the one thing that has eluded him throughout his career - a major championship - and further add to his legend.
Zhang Weili (Champion) Vs Rose Namajunas, Straweight
After blitzing her way to the top of the division with four victories in just 13 months, Zhang used her lone appearance of 2020 to etch her name in the history books.
Combining with Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248, the fight went down in the books as arguably the greatest female fight of all-time - landing on the happy side of the split decision verdict to regain her title.
Zhang Weili made history when she became the first Chinese champion in UFC history!
Her 42 second KO of Jessica Andrade nearly took the roof at the arena! Incredible!#UFC261 ' Saturday ' BT Sport 1 HD pic.twitter.com/kWg8rtxxS5
- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) April 21, 2021
Namajunas returned for the first time since losing her title last summer, running it back with Jessica Andrade and walking away with a split decision victory to establish herself as the number one contender in the 115-pound weight class.
Can the current champion continue her reign, or will the former titleholder halt her lengthy winning streak and begin her second stint on the strawweight throne?
Valentina Shevchenko (Champion) Vs Jessica Andrade, Flyweight
Shevchenko has been so dominant in her flyweight career that losing a round to Jennifer Maia last November at UFC 255 prompted observers to begin questioning if the pack of contenders were starting to close the gap on the champion.
Shevchenko vs Andrade is LIVE SATURDAY on @espn+ PPV! #UFC261 pic.twitter.com/E6Vwgg7vZS
- danawhite (@danawhite) April 20, 2021
This is the matchup that everyone has been waiting for since Andrade announced her move to flyweight.
Both of these women are elite competitors, but with very different styles and approaches, this fight is sure to have a lasting impact on their respective legacies and determining where they stand in the pantheon of all-time greats.
Other fights on the main card include:
- Chris Weidman Vs Uriah Hall, Middleweight
- Anthony Smith Vs Jimmy Crute, Light Heavyweight
The preliminary card is as follows:
- Alex Oliveira Vs Randy Brown, Welterweight
- Dwight Grant Vs Stefan Sekulic, Welterweight
- Karl Roberson Vs Brendan Allen, Middleweight
- Patrick Sabatini Vs Tristan Connelly, Featherweight
- Danaa Batgerel Vs Kevin Natividad, Bantamweight
- Kazula Vargas Vs Rong Zhu, Lightweight
- Qileng Aori Vs Ariane Carnelossi, Strawweight
- Jamey Simmons Vs Johnny Munoz, Bantamweight
Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman is 1/4 heavy favourite, while Jorge Masvidal is the outsider at 3/1.
Strawweight Championship: Weili Zhang is the 1/2 favourite, with Rose Namajunas closely priced at 7/4.
Flyweight Championship: Valentina Shevchenko is the 1/4 favourite against challenger Jessica Andrade, priced at 7/2.