UFC welterweight champion and no. 2 rated pound-for-pound fighter Kamaru Usman spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto about quite a few subjects, including his rematch with no. 4 rated welterweight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 and the condition of the welterweight division.
Usman started by detailing why he made a decision to protect his title versus Masvidal all over again just two and a half months soon after correctly defending it from Gilbert Burns at UFC 258.
“I’m not obtaining any younger. I really do not know how many far more of these I want to do, and talking with all the men that I appear up to and having their guidance is ‘You gotta do it when you can.’ Simply because time comes and goes very, quite swiftly,” Usman mentioned. “So I just took that suggestions and I’m just like, ‘You know what? There is no time to squander.’ Looking at all the contenders that ended up on that record, there was 1 that I variety of even now experienced a undesirable style in my mouth from.”
Of course, Usman is referring to his following opponent in “Gamebred.”
While the 3-time defending champion handily decisioned Masvidal at UFC 251 with two 50-45’s and a 49-46 on the judges’ scorecards, “The Nigerian Nightmare” still thinks he could have carried out far better.
Even with the lopsided overall performance, some supporters and pundits credited Masvidal for heading to a determination with Usman on six days observe following seeing the winner end formidable contenders like Colby Covington and most not too long ago Gilbert Burns.
Why Kamaru Usman opted for Jorge Masvidal rematch
But Usman created it abundantly apparent that the views of the aforementioned users of the MMA local community is not why he sought a rematch.
“It was not since of what persons said or what persons thought. It was for the reason that of what I considered, and how I felt just after the combat,” Usman reported. “I knew what I was dealing with when I went there for that combat, and of course I was nevertheless ready to get the get. But not in the way that I needed.”
When the rematch was booked, a lot of within the MMA neighborhood argued that there are contenders in just the division who are extra deserving of a title battle.
Some place to Colby Covington, who defeated previous welterweight winner Tyron Woodley past September. Other people position to the point that a rematch with Masvidal will be additional valuable than a rematch with Covington, and the figures establish it. It was claimed that Usman’s main function bout with Masvidal at UFC 251 marketed 1.3 million fork out-for each-view purchases, which falls into the top rated 10 of the UFC’s greatest selling pay out-for every-sights in background.
Usman acknowledged there is real truth driving all those statements, but also supplied arguments against that sentiment.
“Does he bring much more eyes suitable now? Certainly. I’m a realist. I have normally been a realist,” Usman said. “I never choose that away from [Masvidal]. I’m proud of him for anything that he’s done, definitely proud of him. Respect in that part, but let us be truthful, I have what most people would like. It is environmentally friendly panty night when you are fighting me. He’s not obtaining shell out-for every-sights and things like that on his individual. He has to battle me.”
Usman ultimately recognizes that there is a nutritious harmony among the probable earnings a dance lover like Masvidal generates in conjunction with wanting to rid that bitter flavor Usman has from their initial fight.
As far as the latter, even so, Usman articulated why he has that poor flavor from the to start with bout.
“Honestly, I never believe I broke him the way that I needed to split him. There is something that satisfies me when I fight fellas, and which is the issue that… I imagine yrs back, Jon [Jones] spoke about this… is when you’re in there with that opponent it is such an personal moment there to where only you and that dude know what’s likely on,” Usman claimed.
“Only you and that person know how tricky he hits you. Only you and that dude know how hard I’m coming at you, and with Masvidal, I really don’t believe I entirely broke him the way I preferred to. With anyone else, I know when I broke them. I know when I broke their spirit. I know when I broke their heart. And with him, I never sense like I thoroughly received there.”
Why is not Usman combating Colby Covington at UFC 261?
Usman then turned his awareness to present-day no. 1 welterweight contender and previous interim welterweight champion Colby Covington expressing he would like to see his previous opponent compete more regularly.
“I wanna see action, and he’s not displaying exercise. Which is a challenge. The champion just can’t be the most energetic person in the division,” Usman explained. “Because like I mentioned, I have lapped everybody, and now I’m coming again about.”
When some may possibly find it ironic that Usman’s following opponent in Masvidal has not fought considering that their initially battle last July, Covington has only fought at the time due to the fact shedding to Masvidal in December 2019.
Usman believes relatively than combating reduce rated contenders, Covington is alternatively ready for a different possibility to obstacle for the belt.
“You cannot just sit there and say, ‘Oh perfectly, hopefully you decide on me, select me, decide me,’” Usman reported. “Show me activity. Give me a thing. Give me a purpose. It is not always me, I know what I’m capable of carrying out. I have completed it ahead of. You can inquire his jaw. I’ve finished that just before. Now it is for him to present the men and women that he deserves a further probability to combat for the title.”
As very long as Usman continues this unbelievable run, it is going to be tricky to discourage him from contacting pictures as the king of the UFC welterweight division.
UFC 258 highlights & recap: Kamaru Usman’s most new victory over Gilbert Burns
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