UFC 261 felt like a victory lap for the sport, featuring a star studded
crowd and three riveting title fights all ending in KOs.
Main event: (19-1-0) Kamala Usman vs. (35-15-0)
Masvidal appeared to showboat just seconds before Usman caught him
with a vicious
right hand to end the fight in the 2nd round.
Co-main event: (11-4-0) Rose Namajunas vs.
(21-2-0) Weili Zhang
That beautiful Joe Rogan gif above was taken after “Thug” Rose’s head
kick KO’d Zhang in the 1st round, regaining the strawweight
title for Rose.
Title bout: (21-3-0) Valentina Shevchenko vs.
(21-9-0) Jessica Andrade
Valentina earned her fifth consecutive title defense and a 3rd match
with Amanda Nunes may be on the table.
(18-9-0) Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman (15-6-0)
Like us, Hall didn’t even throw a punch on Saturday night, becoming
the first fighter in UFC history to win a match without doing so.
How? Weidman broke his leg against Hall’s shin just after the fight
started. Warning, the video
is Kevin Ware in the Final Four brutal.
Zoom out: The UFC is in a much better position
than any other combat sport. Instead of relying on larger personalities to
drive viewership, the UFC promotes its home-grown talent and uses its
superior distribution (ESPN partnership) to drive massive social engagement.
While other sports saw ratings dip, the UFC’s ESPN viewership was up 16%
from May to October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. It's been a win-win
partnership. ESPN execs credit the UFC for helping triple ESPN+
AROUND THE LEAGUES
(31-30) Golden State Warriors 118 vs. (39-21) Denver Nuggets 97
Draymond Green had one of the oddest, most impressive stat lines
you’ll see - 2 points, 12 rebounds, and 19 assists.
(33-26) Dallas Mavericks 115 vs. (35-25) LA Lakers 110
⛳ Team Mullet, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, won the Zurich Classic
of New Orleans. Afterward, Cam said
this about his mullet, “I have to apologize to my girlfriend, it’s
not going away. I feel like it’s part of me now.”