By Eugene Boicuks
UFC 251 will take place at ‘Fight Island’ on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on July 11, and will be the first of four events scheduled to take place on the island during the month of July.
The event will include three title fights, the main event will be between Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1) and Brazilian contender Gilbert Burns (19-3), who is undefeated in his 4 fights since moving up to the 170-pound weight division. With Burns fresh off of his dominant defeat of Tyron Woodley, we expect a full head of steam and total confidence leading to the fight.
Former Featherweight champion Max Holloway (21-5) will attempt to avenge his defeat to Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) as the pair will meet in a rematch for the 145-pound belt, which Volkanovski won in a decision victory over Holloway at UFC 245 last December. Volkanovski has not lost a fight in his last 18 appearances dating back to 2013. Although Holloway had his own impressive 13 fight win stretch that was broken in 2019.
And Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan (14-1) will take on Jose Aldo (28-6) for the Bantamweight championship, which was vacated by Henry Cejudo after his retirement at UFC 249.
The other two fights of the main card will feature two interesting female fights, as former Strawweight champions Jessica Andrade (20-7) and Rose Namajunas (8-4) will fight in a rematch, and Paige VanZant (8-4) will take on Amanda Ribas (9-1).
The other ‘Fight Island’ shows will take place on Wednesday, July 15, Saturday, July 18, and finally Saturday, July 25. The island will be secluded by local authorities with a “safety zone” of 10 squared miles set to be in place.
According to UFC President, Dana White, ‘Fight Island will include “an arena, hotels, and training facilities for the fighters that are private, so the whole COVID-19 thing is covered.”
The other three cards are yet to be announced, but All Access MMA will keep you updated on all future UFC event fight announcements.
Kamaru Usman (16-1) vs. Gilbert Burns (19-3)
Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) vs. Max Holloway (21-5)
Jose Aldo (28-6) vs. Peter Yan (14-1)
Amanda Ribas (9-1) vs. Paige Van Zant (8-4)
Frankie Edgar 23-8-1) vs. Pedro Munhoz (18-4)
Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-5) vs. Ciryl Gane (6-0)
Jessica Andrade (20-7) vs. Rose Namajunas (8-4)
Volkan Oezdemir (17-4) vs. Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1)
Raulian Paiva (19-3) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (10-3)