JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UFC 261 was memorable for all kinds of reasons Saturday.
For starters, the promotion broke back into events in front of in-person fans with a packed house of more than 15,000. UFC 261 broke the venue gate record at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., UFC president Dana White said after the card.
The main card had two bits of disturbing results early from an injury standpoint when Jimmy Crute (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) couldn’t put any pressure on his left leg without it buckling in a TKO loss to Anthony Smith (35-16 MMA, 10-6 UFC). And right after that, Chris Weidman (15-6 MMA, 11-6 UFC) had his leg snapped in a horrific way when he threw a kick against Uriah Hall (17-9 MMA, 10-7 UFC) just 17 seconds into the fight. He broke his leg the same way Anderson Silva broke his throwing a kick against Weidman in 2013.
But the three title fights had scintillating results. Women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko (21-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) stayed dominant with a TKO of Jessica Andrade (21-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC). Rose Namajunas (10-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) reclaimed the women’s strawweight belt with a first-round head kick knockout of Zhang Weili (21-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC). And welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (19-1 MMA, 14-0 UFC) became just the second man to knock out Jorge Masvidal (35-15 MMA, 12-8 UFC) when he put him out cold with a vicious right hand in the main event.
After the card, MMA Junkie’s John Morgan and Mike Brown broke down those three title fights and wondered what might be next for the three champs. Check out their on-site analysis in the video above.