Masvidal competed for the UFC welterweight championship on July 11. He challenged champion Kamaru Usman on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Masvidal could only hope to contain the grappling skills and pace of Usman throughout the fight. The bout went the distance and “The Nigerian Nightmare” retained his 170-pound gold.
Jorge Masvidal Expresses Gratitude Over Reported UFC 251 Buyrate
“The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling. Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you.”
Many have credited Masvidal with the added boost in interest for the UFC 251 card. “Gamebred” stepped up on short notice when Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19. Just ahead of fight night, UFC president Dana White said the PPV was trending higher than a Conor McGregor bout.
Despite the loss, Masvidal’s stock may not have taken a big hit. His post-fight scrum has generated over 2 million views on the official YouTube channel of the UFC. Before fight night, some including Daniel Cormier, believed Masvidal was entering a “no-lose” situation.
With the loss, Masvidal’s three-fight winning streak has been snapped. He was going into the welterweight title fight with wins over Nate Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till.
As for Usman, he extended his impressive winning streak to 16. This was his second successful UFC welterweight title defense. He is likely to collide with Gilbert Burns next. UFC president Dana White told reporters during the UFC 251 post-fight press conference that the plan is to give Burns the next 170-pound title opportunity.