There was a moment of respect between the two rivals at the UFC 261 pre-fight press conference, as Jorge Masvidal spoke of returning the favour towards bitter rival, current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Jorge Masvidal will grant trilogy if victorious at UFC 261
Masvidal (35-14) recently spoke at the conference that he will be more than happy to do a trilogy rubber match if he was to beat Usman (18-1) at the upcoming UFC 261 which takes place this Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Definitely, (I’ll give him a rematch if I win),” Jorge Masvidal told reporters at the UFC 261 press conference. “He gave me a chance. Whether we see eye-to-eye on things or not, he gave me another chance to compete, so I’ll definitely give him another chance to compete again.”
After Usman defended his welterweight crown for a third time against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 back in February, the Nigerian man called out Masvidal for a fight stating that he wasn’t happy with how things ended the last time they fought and that this time that he would finish the Miami man. However, it seems that Jorge Masvidal respects the gesture and is willing to return the favour as he gets another chance to fight for UFC gold.
The two fought back at UFC 251 in July 2020. Usman was slated to face Burns however the Brazilian was forced to withdraw from the contest after testing positive for COVID-19. In stepped Masvidal on six days notice who cut 20 pounds for the fight in a very short amount of time. Noticeably Masvidal tired during the fight as his cardiovascular fitness was not up to scratch due to not being in fighting shape. Usman won comfortably on the judges’ scorecards by unanimous decision, controlling Masvidal in the clinch for the majority of the fight.
This time around Jorge Masvidal has had a full training camp to prepare for the bout which he believes will be a big difference going into UFC 261.
“Not having to cut 20 pounds in six days means a lot to me,” Masvidal said. “Last time, all the energy I wasted cutting weight is going to be spent in putting a finish on him.”
Despite Masvidal’s comments in repaying Usman the favour. President of the UFC, Dana White contemplated whether Usman will be next for an immediate trilogy should Masvidal win the bout.
“I don’t know. We have to see how the fight plays out,” White told MMA Junkie. “A lot of things factor in on if a fight gets made – injuries and personal things. So I don’t know. We’ll see how Saturday plays out.”
However, before entertaining the idea of a trilogy bout, Masvidal must first overcome the massive hurdle of defeating Usman. Usman has looked dominant throughout his whole UFC career defeating the elite likes of Leon Edwards, Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington and the aforementioned Burns. He remains undefeated in the UFC, has three title defences already and has the most consecutive wins in UFC welterweight history of 13.
Naturally, Usman will be the favourite going into the fight however the BMF champion, Masvidal will be expected to much better prepared going into this fight. The 305er is unpredictable in his attacks and has a very well-rounded skill set. However, he will feel he has the advantage in the striking. Bursting onto the scene in backyard brawl fights during the Kimbo Slice days on YouTube, Masvidal has competed in MMA professionally since 2003 and may be looking at this upcoming fight as perhaps his last shot to win the UFC belt before he closes the chapter on his fighting career.
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