Saturday, January 22, 2022

Usman Doesn’t Believe Masvidal Can Give Him A Challenging Fight

Kamaru Usman does not believe Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal would pose a legitimate challenge to him if the two were to ever meet again.

Kamaru Usman turned in a lopsided win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251, but the win did not come without its share of criticism. Even though Usman won decisively on every scorecard (50-45, 50-45, 49-46), there was a widespread narrative that shadowed the victory which holds that the welterweight champion could have done more to put his stamp on the fight and be more entertaining for the fans at home.

Instead, Usman executed a conservative gameplan that largely took place against the cage without much significant damage to his opponent. Usman has argued that the fight played out this way due to Masvidal being complacent and not wanting to win badly enough and that it takes an opponent’s A-game to bring out a more dogged performance from him.

Does Masvidal Have The Potential To Give Usman A Tougher Fight?

But what if Masvidal did come with his best performance? Does he have what it takes to push Usman in a competitive fight?

“No,” Usman answered bluntly in an interview with ESPN. “But like I said, it’s me versus me. So there’s a potential of that fight happening again if he’s able to work himself there, but I just want to do it again because I want to finish him. I want to impress myself.

UFC 251 results -- Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal: Fight card, highlights,  complete guide - CBSSports.com
Kamaru Usman & Jorge Masvidal At the Close of UFC 251 Bout. Image: Jeff Bottari, Zuffa LLC

“But is he able to push me? No. No,” Usman asserted. “He just doesn’t have that skill set, and he never really developed it. But he’s doing his thing and more power to him. I’m happy for him. But there’s good, there’s great, then there’s elite. And he’s just not up there.”

Jorge Masvidal is currently ranked #4 in the UFC’s welterweight division. The seven-year UFC vet holds a promotional record of 12-7, so he has had his success swings. But Masvidal was able to be considered the Fighter of the Year on many people’s list after turning in three finishes over Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.

His momentum would be stifled by Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, but to Usman’s point, Masvidal continues to “do his thing” as one of the biggest stars in the promotion after his 2019 run, including delivering arguably the greatest finish in UFC history at UFC 238 at Ben Askren’s expense.

Do you agree with Kamaru Usman? Is Jorge Masvidal not an elite fighter?

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