Update: Gilbert Burns has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not compete against Kamaru Usman in UFC 251, according to ESPN. The UFC is yet to make an official announcement, but the fight is expected to be rescheduled at a later date. The two other title fights scheduled for UFC 251 (Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway and Jose Aldo vs Petr Yan) are still expected to take place on July 11.
After postponing events earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, UFC CEO Dana White wasted no time in getting things back up and running. White promised MMA fans that the UFC would be the first sports league to start hosting live events again, and even hinted a private Fight Island would serve as a venue for future shows. That time has finally come: On Saturday, July 11, UFC 251 is hosting three explosive championship matches at Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s everything you need to know about UFC 251: Usman vs. Burn, including the start time, the full card, and where you can tune into the all-important UFC 251 live stream (spoiler: it’s a pay-per-view event that will broadcast exclusively on ESPN+ in the US — sign up now and save $30).
Date: Saturday, July 11, 2020
Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Arena: UFC Fight Island
How To Watch UFC 251 Online In The U.S.
The entire UFC 251 fight card is a pay-per-view event, and due to ESPN’s tight relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, you’ll need ESPN+ if you want to live stream UFC 251 (this premium streaming platform is currently the only way to watch UFC pay-per-views). The good news is that ESPN+ is cheap at just $5 per month or $50 per year, and along with UFC events, your ESPN+ membership gives you access to a huge spread of other sports content. This bundle offer sweetens the deal, letting you score a year’s worth of ESPN+ along with the UFC 251 PPV package for just $85 — $30 less than the price of buying them separately.
UFC 251 Fight Card
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns (welterweight) Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway (featherweight) Petr Yan vs. José Aldo (bantamweight) Jéssica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas (women’s strawweight) Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant (women’s flyweight)
Most UFC pay-per-views feature at least one championship bout, and sometimes, MMA fans will get lucky with two title fights. The star-studded UFC 251 fight card boasts not two but three contests for the men’s welterweight, featherweight, and bantamweight belts, as well as a highly anticipated rematch between former women’s strawweight champions Jéssica Andrade and Rose Namajunas.
The main fight pits defending welterweight champ Kamaru Usman against Gilbert Burns. With 16 wins and a single loss under his belt, Usman is one of the brightest stars in the UFC right now, but the challenger for the throne is no novice: Gilbert Burns boasts an impressive record of 19 wins and only three losses, and currently stands as the top-ranked fighter on the UFC men’s welterweight roster (even if Usman currently holds the belt). Both fighters utilize grappling-heavy styles in the Octagon, with the majority of their recent wins coming via decision. UFC 251 will mark Usman’s second title defense since winning the championship in March of last year.
The co-main event at UFC 251 is a rematch between defending featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) and Max Holloway (21-5), two veteran combatants who need little introduction among MMA fans. Both are top-ranked UFC featherweights and faced off last December at UFC 245, where Volkanovski defeated Holloway via unanimous decision to claim the title. Holloway, still the No. 1 fighter on the men’s featherweight roster, will be understandably hungry to get his belt back, but Volkanovski won’t let his first UFC title defense to end in disappointment so easily.
The third and final championship match on the UFC 251 fight card is a contest between Petr Yan (14-1) and José Aldo (28-6) for the vacant bantamweight title. One look at these two fighters’ records suggests that they are two stars crossing on different paths: Yan is a rising UFC talent who signed on with the promotion in 2018 (and has yet to lose a match since), while Aldo has been suffering from a string of recent defeats, having lost five of his last eight fights. This contest for the vacant bantamweight belt will be a fierce one, and you can bet that a veteran like Aldo will be eager to prove he’s still got what it takes to be a champion.
UFC 251: Usman vs. Burns is a pay-per-view event airing exclusively via ESPN+, so if you’ve yet to sign up for this premium sports streaming service, now’s the perfect time: This bundle deal lets you score a year’s subscription to ESPN+ along with the UFC 251 PPV for just $85 right now (a 25% discount).
Looking for more on UFC? Find results, scheduled fights, top fighters, and more on our UFC 2020 page.