UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is expected to defend his title against streaking contender Jorge Masvidal during International Fight Week this July.
Heading into this matchup, which is still not official, Usman is perceived to have a clear wrestling advantage, while Masvidal is believed to be the more dangerous striker.
From the sounds of it, however, Usman isn’t particularly fretful about his next foe’s striking.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s UFC 247 card, Usman explained why he’s not sweating Masvidal’s knockout power.
He believes that Tyron Woodley—who he beat to win the welterweight title last year—hits much harder than Masvidal. He also points to the fact that Masvidal was unable to knock out Nate Diaz last November.
“Let’s weigh it out right now: me standing with Masvidal or me standing with Tyron Woodley, which one is a little more … yeah, Tyron Woodley more power, Tyron Woodley could touch you and put you out,” Usman said (via MMA Fighting). “I should be worried about Masvidal? He couldn’t knock out Nate Diaz, and I should worry about Masvidal? Come on, man.”
Usman continued, reminding the world that despite Masvidal’s recent success, “Gamebred” has lost several high profile fights over the last few years, including setbacks to Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson.
“This guy’s fought Demian Maia; what happened? He took an L,” Usman said. “He fought ‘Wonderboy;’ what happened? Took an L. Now it’s crazy to me that he has all this hype, and everyone says he’s this striker, he’s this killer, he’s this, this and that. It doesn’t matter, I’m going to do me. I’m going to put him on his ass, I’m going to beat on him until he wants to quit, and if he stands up, I will knock him out if I need to.
“Everyone’s talking about striking. First of all, you got to stand upright to strike. Don’t think I’m not going to take you down. I’m going to take you down, period. There’s no secret to what’s going to happen. I’m going to take you down and beat on you until you quit.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/11/2020.