The pair have fought twice now, with Usman seeing his hand raised on both occasions. More recently, the UFC welterweight champion defended his crown against ‘Gamebred’ via knockout at UFC 261 in what was voted ‘Knockout of the Year’ by fans on the UFC’s official Twitter page.
The victory became Usman’s third knockout win since he became champion, proving his level of power and striking despite predominantly being a wrestler. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has now defended his title five times in total as well as remaining unbeaten inside the Octagon.
The 34-year-old is so confident with his hands that he has called out arguably the greatest boxer on the planet, Canelo Álvarez, an ambitious attempt to showcase just how elite his boxing is by taking up the sport itself.
Whether or not Usman does take on Canelo, the fact remains that based on current evidence, the UFC welterweight champion’s striking is amongst the best in the sport. Yet, UFC welterweight contender Masvidal isn’t so convinced of Usman’s striking ability. despite being knocked out cold by him.
Masvidal: I Know Usman Is Beatable
While speaking on the latest episode of the Impaulsive Podcast, Masvidal downplayed Usman’s level of striking as “nothing special”.
“Oh, I know he’s beatable,” said Masvidal. “There’s not a man alive that isn’t beatable. And taking the second round out of it [in the rematch], the first round after I got up I started landing some big shots on him. The first thing I threw he took me down off the second knee I hit him with—hit right here in the chest and my thigh hit him on the jaw, wobbled him a little bit.
“So and on the feet, he’s nothing special, man. he might have got me, but he’s nothing special on the feet. he’s not like a legit striker on the feet yet.”
It’s fair to say that Masvidal still remains confident in his own ability to be able to defeat the champ. The BMF title holder also stated on the podcast that he feels he has at least “two to three years in the sport” left with another run at the title heavy on his mind.
If he is to conquer Usman, Masvidal will have to back up his statement by showcasing just how beatable the #1 pound-for-pound UFC fighter really is.
Do you agree with Masvidal? Or do you think Usman’s striking has that special factor?