UFC 251’s main event produced a more than decisive result as Kamaru Usman dominated Jorge Masvidal on Fight Island.
Usman showcased his incredible wrestling pedigree time and time again in the fight, shooting in for takedowns and level changing at every opportunity.
Two accidental head clashes opened up gashes on Masvidal’s face, but the 35-year-old still continued to blow kisses and smile through the pain barrier.
Although his wrestling skills and takedown defence were never in question, Masvidal often found himself trapped helplessly in a cycle of clinches and grappling exchanges which clearly wore the fighting veteran down.
By the two men entered the final round, the battle appeared to have exhausted both men to the brink of despair and Usman tried to close the show with an anaconda choke, before Masvidal exploded with a late flurry.
However, as the horn sounded to signal the end of the fight, the bitter rivals enjoyed an embrace and appeared to bury the hatchet after months of trading verbal barbs.
And Masvidal’s post-fight comments will get UFC fans very excited as he suggested the pair could do battle again in the future.
When asked to share what they said to each other as the fight finished, Masvidal told the media: “He said some good things, I said some good things…
“Whatever, we’ll do it again and I just can’t wait and I’m gonna come back better.
“I’m not gonna disappear from the sport without this belt being wrapped around my waist, one way or another.
“I wasn’t at my best tonight but everyone can see I have a dog in me but this dog don’t shut up or roll over for nobody.
“I was very tired at some spots and I was able to dig down and bring it back to my feet. I’m not happy with my performance but I’m telling everybody that I’ll be back and stronger.”
UFC 251’s Match of the Night saw Rose Namajunas exact revenge on Jessica Andrade in a clash that saw the winner sustain a gruesome nose and eye injury.
Paige VanZant suffered a first round submission defeat to Amanda Ribas, while there was controversy as Max Holloway lost to Alexander Volkanovski.
Davey Grant scored the first KO on Fight Island after suffering a broken jaw, before making a cheeky request to UFC president Dana White.
And Jiri Prochazka scored a stunning KO on his UFC debut to leave former title contender Volkan Oezdemir out cold.