Abu Dhabi, July 12 (IANS): UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on Sunday retained his title after he defeated Jorge Masvidal via a unanimous decision at the UFC 251 Fight Island.
Usman successfully defend his belt with a gritty display to earn scores of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 from the three judges after five gruelling rounds during the clash.
"Masvidal is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now. I had to switch gears and prepare for him on a week's notice. ... I had to make a mental shift. I trained for Gilbert. I had a completely different game plan," the 33-year-old Nigerian told UFC play-by-play announcer Jon Anik after the fight.
Usman's victory helped him to improve his record to 17-1 and extended his winning streak to 16 fights in the UFC.
Meanwhile, Alexander Volkanovski retained his featherweight title by edging a split-decision verdict against former champion Max Holloway.
The Emirates' Yas Island had been transformed into 'UFC Fight Island', a closed-off region where four UFC events are set to be held during the course of this month.