UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and his rival Jorge Masvidal agreed to run it back immediately following their main event fight at UFC 251.
Usman won a unanimous decision over Masvidal in the Fight Island headliner, with scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46. Although Masvidal had his moments in the bout, it was mostly a dominant performance by Usman, who used his wrestling to dictate where the bout took place, allowing him to roll to a decision victory.
For Masvidal, it’s a tough loss considering he had so much momentum heading into the bout, but considering he took the fight on just six days’ notice, the fact he was able to survive the full 25 minutes against a great champion like Usman was impressive. As soon as the fight was over, the two men agreed to have a rematch sometime in the future.
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Masvidal: We’re going to run it back.
Masvidal: We’re going to run it back. I’ll get another victory and come back better.
For Masvidal, the loss stings because he was one of the biggest stars in the game coming into the fight after an incredible 2019 that saw him stop Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz. After initially holding out for a better contract, Masvidal eventually took the Usman fight on super short notice after No. 1 contender Gilbert Burns fell off the card due to COVID-19. Looking back, perhaps Masvidal would have been wise to fight Usman off a full training camp, as he appeared to be weakened from a tough weight cut on Saturday.
As for Usman, it was another dominant performance from the champ, who is now riding a 16-fight win streak including a perfect 12-0 mark in the UFC. A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Usman has developed into an incredible champion for the UFC. After defeating Tyron Woodley to take the welterweight belt at UFC 235, Usman has since defended his title against both Masvidal and Colby Covington.
Masvidal could certainly grab a few wins and get back into title contention, but as of right now there are other contenders at 170lbs such as Gilbert Burns who are ahead of him in the title shot queue. Although Masvidal and Usman want to run it back, it would likely take Masvidal getting at least a couple more wins for the UFC to make that happen.
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