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On Saturday night UFC welcomed fans back into the arena for the first time in over a year, as Jacksonville, Florida hosted UFC 261.
The fans were in fine voice, especially telling Jake Paul what they thought of him, and were especially hot for the main event, as Florida fighter Masvidal challenged Usman for the welterweight title for the second time in nine months.
They were however left disappointed that their man couldn't get the job done and was stopped for the first time since 2009, as the champion landed a straight right.
The finishing shot in the second round looked brilliant in real time, as Masvidal folded over, but the slow motion replay was even made it all the more devastating.
The first meeting between the two men, at UFC 251 nine months ago, had taken place with Masvidal given just six days notice.
Gamebred was a last minute replacement for Gilbert Burns, after the Brazilian tested positive for Covid, and had to go through an extreme weight cut.
The fight itself was seen as pretty boring, with the champ tying up the challenger who struggled to defend the Nigerian's wrestling due to his lack of cardio.
The rematch was pretty different, as the American was able to get to his feet after being taken down in the first round.
Both men were able to land shots in the opening five minutes, but Masvidal landed some early leg kicks too to show he meant business.
He continued that tactic at the beginning of the second round, before Usman's straight right ended the fight in a way that most expected would have been the method for any Masvidal victory, and left the challenger asking his team 'what happened.'
No fight on the main card at UFC 261 went past the second round in what was a strange night in Florida.
The first fight ended before the second round after Anthony Smith's leg kick to Jimmy Crute caused the Australian's leg to collapse from under him.
The second fight saw the awful moment when Chris Weidman's kick to Uriah Hall in the opening 17 seconds leave the former middleweight champion with a snapped leg, in a mirror image of what happened to Anderson Silva against Weidman years ago.
Valentina Shevchenko dominated Jessica Andrade, with a second round stoppage, to defend her flyweight title before Rose Namajunas shocked Zhang Weili with a brilliant leg kick.
Usman ended the night in spectacular fashion and none of the 15,000 fans inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will forget any time soon.
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