Camaro Osman scored a stunning second-round knockout to finish Jorge Masvidal to retain the undisputed welterweight title at UFC 261 in Florida.
The match, which took place in front of 15,000 fans in Jacksonville, was a rematch between them at UFC 251, with Masvidal entering a six-day notice but losing to Usman on the scorecards after five exhausting rounds.
American Masvidal, 36, said he would be better off after a full training camp, while Nigerian Osman, 33, promised a more decisive victory in the rematch to score his fourth defense in a row.
The pair engaged in a thrilling back and forth battle during the first round, with both men enjoying success on his feet, while Othman scored a major breakthrough mid-round.
The match exploded in the second round when Osman called with his huge, straight hand that sent Masvidal onto the canvas to win the knockout.
Osman’s victory improved his record to 19-1 and extended his unbeaten run to 18 fights, including 14 successive victories in the UFC.
“I told everyone, ‘I’m still getting better. The sky is the limit for me as long as I do it,’ ” he said.
“I know from my basics, that I’m the best fighter on the planet right now.”
Masvidal was elegant in defeat as he reacted to the first knockout loss of his career by 50 fights in MMA.
He said, “The first time in my career, in front of all my family, family and friends, so it is painful.”
“I was never eliminated in 50 pro fights. Othman showed me something he didn’t show in the first fight. I didn’t feel his power, and this is what happens when you have overconfidence. I thought we were going to wrestle more.
“All the props for him in the world. He surprised me. He got my number. There is nothing I can say. He won this show and the box. God bless it.”
Namajunas stuns Weili with a superb knockout
In tonight’s joint main event, Rose Namagnas reclaimed the UFC women’s strawweight title with a stunning performance in the first round of Chinese champion Zhang Weili.
Namajunas started with confidence looking to work by hitting her in early exchanges but Weili responded with some low-leg kicks. Then the 28-year-old answered with a timely high kick to the head that dropped Wiley, 31, onto the canvas.
Namajunas followed her opponent onto the carpet and communicated with a pair of hammerheads as referee Keith Peterson quickly moved to stop the fight with the American becoming the two-time strawweight champion.
“I didn’t see it move. I wasn’t sure if she would come back from that. Just a few hammer and it felt like.” [she] Namajunas said.
Shevchenko dominates to continue the flyweight era
The first title fight of the night saw women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko continue her dominance in the 125-lb category by finishing TKO in the second round of first competitor and former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Kyrgyzstan Shevchenko, 33, finished her Brazilian rival Andrade, 31, with her elbows from Cross position to score her fifth consecutive title defense in a battle that was totally dominated from start to finish.
Despite being known for her strikes, Shevchenko chose instead to use her grappling skills to knock Andrade off her feet before ending with ground kicks for her 21st professional win.
“My plan was to get into the appraiser and destroy my opponent. Sorry, Jessica, but that was my plan,” she said.
“I want to say one thing. When my opponents try to figure out my weakness, don’t waste your time. There is nothing.”
A former champion suffers from a leg injury
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman’s hopes came to an end in just 17 seconds as he suffered a broken leg in his match with Uriah Hall.
The match ended right after the first fight kick as Weidman threw a powerful kick to the leg, which was examined by Hall.
The block immediately broke Widman’s leg in an incident eerily similar to an injury to former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a rematch with Widman in 2013.
After the fight, Hall praised Weidman and promised to encounter him again in the future once he fully recovered.
“I got nothing but respect for Chris Weidman. He’s really one of the best players,” he said.
“Oh man, I feel so bad. Hope he’s fine. I get along well with his family.
“Whatever rank I get in the future, if he’s healthy, I owe him this fight.”