Masvidal to rematch Usman at UFC 261 in front of 15,000 fans in sport's first full stadium since start of Covid crisis

JORGE MASVIDAL is set to rematch Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 with fans returning in full for the first time, Dana White confirmed.

Masvidal, 36, stepped in on just eight days notice to challenge Usman, 33, on Fight Island behind closed doors in July.

He was beaten on points, but the grudge match sold 1.3milllion pay-per-views and now they will do it again, this time in front of a live crowd.

UFC president White revealed plans for fans to attend in full for the first time in MMA during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said in a Twitter video: "I have been waiting a year for this day to tell you we are back.

"UFC 261 on April 24th it will be in Jacksonville, Florida, with a full house of fans, full capacity at the VyStar Veteran’s Memorial Arena.

"And you know I'm bringing an incredible card. We have three title fights.The welterweight championship, Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal 2.

"The women's flyweight championship, Valentina Shevchenko versus Jessica Andrade.

"And, the fight everyone has been waiting for, the women's strawweight championship, Weili Zhang and Rose Namajunas."

The last UFC event to have supporters in full attendance was on March 8 in Las Vegas as Israel Adesanya beat Yoel Romero.

CHELTENHAM SPECIAL OFFER – GET THE FIRST RACE FAVOURITE AT HUGE 50/1 PRICE

From then on, the UFC primarily switched from their Apex Center in Las Vegas and Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, all behind closed doors.

For Conor McGregor's return in January – which he lost against Dustin Poirier – a limited number of fans attended in the Middle East.

It was also the scene of Masvidal's last fight, and failed talks to face his bitter rival Colby Covington, 33, kept the veteran from returning.

Usman fought as recently as Febuary, as he stopped ex-training partner Gilber Burns, 34, in three rounds.

Afterwards, he made the surprise callout of Masvidal and vowed to this time end the fight by finish.

The two were also set to coach reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter, but the return of fans pushed forward the welterweight title rematch.

Source: Read Full Article