Monday, January 24, 2022

Jorge Masvidal Gives Props To Usman, Won’t Retire Without The Belt

Jorge Masvidal can’t help but give credit where it’s due, but if you thought his knockout loss meant he’s throwing in the towel on his career, you were gravely mistaken.

At UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal suffered the first knockout loss of his UFC career at the hands of an unlikely culprit. It was the same man who Masvidal said had neither power nor “meanness,” UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Masvidal warned Usman that he had adequately prepared for the “hugging” and rounds of footsie. What he was not ready for, however, was Usman’s striking execution presenting something to him that he was yet to see in his lifetime of fighting. That is something worthy of respect, regardless of the preconceived notions heading into their encounter.

“My jaw is good. He hit the perfect off button and then followed through right on it. I think even before I hit the floor, I was (done) to the point that my legs just went out,” Masvidal said in an ESPN interview released Monday. ”And this has never happened in my whole career, so it makes me appreciate the knockout. I look at it and I’m like, wow, perfect timing…misleading as fuck. I thought he was going in for a shot, and when I realized it wasn’t a shot, it was too late. I was already throwing my check left hook, but it was too late. I read the information wrong. 

UFC 261 results: Kamaru Usman knocks out Jorge Masvidal
Kamaru Usman Knocks Out Jorge Masvidal At UFC 261. Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“So he sold it to me beautifully, and that’s why he got those results. And of that moment right there, I am a fan. Because I love this sport so much, and it was just beautiful technique.”

When asked if his fandom was of Usman as a whole, “Gamebred” clarified that he was merely a fan of the knockout itself. He did, however, state that if Usman continues creating moments like that, then he will be a complete fan of the champion. 

Jorge Masvidal Hell Bent On Becoming UFC Champion Despite UFC 261 Defeat

One need only listen to the returning UFC audience that occupied the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida to know that Jorge Masvidal has many full-fledged fans of his own. After losing to the champion for the second time and also slowly inching closer to 40, it’s only natural for his millions of fans along with the entire industry to wonder what the future holds for the proud Miamian and if UFC 261 could even mark the end of his lengthy career.

Masvidal confirmed that with the encouragement of his father, he will not give up until he has reached their shared goal of bringing home the world championship.

“I couldn’t fight without my dad’s approval,” Masvidal said. “If he (told me), ‘I don’t want you to do it no more,’ I’d be like, ‘Alright, we’re walkin’ away.’  But he’s still giving me that, ‘Man, you can do this. You can win the title. You just need to switch up a couple more things.’

“I love this sport, and I can’t retire without the belt, man. I’m stubborn. I just want to give it as much as I can again. I’m 36 years old. I still feel good. I still could push myself at the gym and not be overwhelmed even by the young guys. So why not give it another run?”

Ultimately, whether or not Jorge Masvidal will be able to earn his way to another title shot or eventually achieve his goal is something the world will not need to speculate about. Because Jorge Masvidal’s determination will ensure that if he does ever leave this sport without becoming UFC champion, it won’t be until there’s full certainty that he left every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears a man could give during his efforts.

Do you believe Jorge Masvidal will ever become UFC champion?

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