Taking place in Houston, Texas inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena the champion will once again defend his throne against a familiar foe although this time the fight will be accompanied by a roaring live audience.
Prior to the welterweight firefight going down, champion Usman sat down with ESPN to catch up and give a teaser for his upcoming title fight. The welterweight champion shrugged off the former contender once already, and while saying he respects Masvidal’s skills, the champ underlined that Masvidal is merely a journeyman and not a contender equal to his athletic status
“See, a lot of people put such a negative connotation with that ‘journeyman.’ Usman told ESPN. That’s not necessarily a negative thing. You have to be good to be a journeyman. Because you have to be good enough to be accepted into all these different places where you go. And that’s what Masvidal’s been. “Make no mistake, he’s very talented. He’s very, very tough. And rightfully so. He’s a great fighter. I take nothing away from him. He’s a great fighter. But even great’s not enough when it comes to me, and he understands that. And that fans might not understand it, but that’s what I aim to do April 24.”.
While the champion complimented the former title challenger for his durability, the comments could be interpreted as seizing an opportunity to poke at Masvidal for being a middle-of-the-pack type of fighter. However, Usman acknowledged the toughness of “Gamebred” but said that toughness simply isn’t enough when you’re taking on the most elite the sport has to offer. In an effort to emphasize his point, the champion reiterated his initial statement.
“He’s a journeyman,” Usman continued. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just when it comes to he and I, there’s levels. I’m at an elite level, and he’s not there yet.”
Granted Masvidal’s record isn’t intact like Usman’s is, but many would argue against Masvidal’s status as a “journeyman” at this point. In part of being a journeyman, they have no true destination, and that isn’t necessarily true for Masvidal, as we have seen his career’s resurrection occur once before. Now that Masvidal is a pay-per-view draw, Usman also understands business is booming when he’s fighting “Gamebred.” The difference now, though, is getting to see the champion defend his belt in front of 15,000 roaring fans.
Who do you believe will walk away with the welterweight belt at UFC 262, Masvidal or Usman? Let us know below!