At UFC 251, the world laid witness to Kamaru Usman grinding out a unanimous-decision victory over Jorge Masvidal to retain the welterweight title. According to Usman, the only reason this fight took place after multiple failed attempts is because this time, Masvidal had the built-in excuse of taking the fight on six days’ notice.
After defeating Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman called out Masvidal for the purpose of removing this excuse and putting Masvidal away with more finality in a rematch. Usman also said in the interview and in the post-fight press conference that he did not think Masvidal would accept the fight. But after giving it more thought, Usman believes that Masvidal will take the fight after all, not because it’s an ideal option, but because it’s by far his best one considering the alternatives.
“The only change is I know for a fact he doesn’t want it, but when it comes to your options, he has no choice but to fight me again,” Usman said in a recent interview with ESPN. “You fight anybody else that’ll potentially beat you up and take your whole mystique of you thinking you’re this good of a fighter and to where you don’t make the amount of money that you might have made? No, he’s not willing to risk that.
“At this point in the game, he’s just trying to take as much money as he can get before the cat’s out of the bag, which the cat’s been out of the bag for me for a long, long time. He’s just a journeyman fighter.”
Usman: Masvidal Knows He Can’t Beat Me
Kamaru Usman did give credit where it is due, though. He admits that Masvidal had an incredible run in 2019 with “the opposition that he was given,” but when it comes to being a champion-level fighter, Usman doesn’t think Masvidal fits that description. What’s more, he believes that Masvidal doesn’t think he will be champion, either, at least not as long as Usman is holding the strap.
“It’s not that he thinks he can’t beat me. He knows he can’t beat me,” Usman said. “He knows he can’t beat me. There’s just certain guys that you just know, ‘Goddamn, I can’t beat that dude. I can’t.’ He just doesn’t have the skills to beat me. Now could a freak accident happen on any given day? Absolutely. But 10 times out of 10, I beat him badly.”
Do you agree with Kamaru Usman’s theory on why Jorge Masvidal will ultimately choose to fight him?