Kamaru Usman admits he was “super nervous” ahead of first Jorge Masvidal showdown: “Is he gonna baptize me?”

By Curtis Calhoun - June 20, 2024

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal have turned the page on their once-heated rivalry in the Octagon.

Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal

Usman defeated Masvidal twice during their UFC tenures, including a vicious one-punch knockout at UFC 261. The two welterweight legends will forever be linked for their two scraps inside the Octagon.

Usman and Masvidal have since squashed their beef at this stage of their lives and careers. Both men are preparing for fighting returns, including Masvidal’s upcoming fight in the boxing ring.

Usman vs. Masvidal 1 came together on days’ notice at UFC 251 after Gilbert Burns withdrew. While Masvidal had some early success, Usman walked away with a relatively dominant decision victory.

But, for Usman, getting to the fight was one of the biggest hurdles in his career.

Kamaru Usman reflects on Jorge Masvidal UFC rivalry

In a recent episode of the Pound 4 Pound podcast with Masvidal guest hosting, Usman opened up on the pre-fight anxiety he felt ahead of their 2020 fight on Fight Island.

“I’m watching [Jorge’s] interviews, ‘I’m gonna baptize this guy’, and it gets to me,” Usman said. “I’m like ‘Oh s***, is he gonna baptize me? What the f***?’. And I’m in the hotel, and I’m super nervous [for the fight]. Especially that moment before you go to the arena for the fight, I’m in my room like ‘Why the f*** am I so nervous right now? Get it together, get it together’…

“I would say that was one of the most nerve-wracking fights that I had. All the circumstances.”

Usman’s wins over Masvidal cemented him as one of the greatest UFC welterweights of all time. He could potentially return to the Octagon by the end of the year.

Masvidal will face Nate Diaz in a boxing match on July 6; a rematch of their UFC 244 BMF title clash. It’s uncertain if he intends to eventually return to MMA.

Usman’s admission shows that at his peak, Masvidal was one of the most intimidating fighters on the planet. Their previous bad blood has faltered and the two sides will always be connected for the business they conducted.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Jorge Masvidal Kamaru Usman UFC