What mattered most at UFC 251 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi? Here are a few post-fight musings …

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1. Kamaru Usman displays his dominance

It’s not the most exciting style to watch, but Kamaru Usman continues to prove time and time again that he has one of most effective styles of anyone on the UFC roster. Jorge Masvidal got to experience that first hand in his unanimous decision loss to Usman in their welterweight title bout.

No matter what the opponent’s approach is or how they try to fight him, Usman finds a way to sap the life of his foes with a rare mix of clinch and grappling pressure. “The Nigerian Nightmare” is now 12-0 in the UFC, and the only two fighters in history to get off to that same start in the promotion are Khabib Nurmagomedov and Anderson Silva.

Wins are most important at the end fo the day, but Usman was the recipient of a solid amount of negative feedback. Let’s tone down on that a bit and remind ourselves Usman spent an entire camp preparing for Gilbert Burns only to have a complete change in styles on six days’ notice.

His win over Colby Covington at UFC 245 in December was a completely different and far more exciting fight from this one, and although the effort against Masvidal was more in tone with what Usman has delivered historically, let’s give him another title defense or two before labeling him a “boring” champion and expecting this to be the norm.