There has been some significant excitement around the upcoming UFC 251 event on Fight Island this forthcoming weekend. That has been taken to the next level with Jorge Masvidal stepping in as the opponent to face Kamaru Usman on Saturday night. However, it’s a match that Usman has made quite clear to the UFC that he didn’t want to go with months ago.
Kamaru Usman to face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251
In the last few days, there has been a significant buzz around the UFC ahead of UFC 251. That primarily centered on Kamaru Usman getting an opponent with Burns out of the mix due to the coronavirus.
That opened the door for Jorge Masvidal to step in to compete in the event that he had been eyeing for the last several weeks. Masvidal has garnered much attention around him over the previous few months, making him a must-see attraction in the business.
Meanwhile, Usman has continued his impressive rise to the top, winning his first 10 fights with the company that has pushed his MMA record to 17-1. That saw him win the Welterweight championship from Tyron Woodley and successfully defend it against Colby Covington in his last fight. With all that in mind, Usman has made it clear from the get-go that he had no interest in fighting his next opponent.
Karamu Usman doesn’t think Jorge Masvidal is a deserving opponent
The cards have aligned over the last several days that have gotten Jorge Masvidal back in the mix for the title fight against Kamaru Usman.
However, it’s a situation that wasn’t encouragingly looked at before Usman as he preferred other opponents instead of Masvidal. He made that quite clear back in March during an interview with TMZ that the 35-year-old was feeding too much into his own hype and momentum, according to TMZ.
“Honestly, if I’m being honest, do I believe that he deserves the fight next? No, I don’t think that he deserves the fight. But at the same time, he’s got the hype right now.”
“He seriously thinks he’s a superstar. He’s talking about how I’m the most famous fighter, I’m more famous than Conor and this and that. You are drinking your own Kool-Aid right now. He forgets that literally less than a year ago or two years ago he was just ‘Journeyman George.'”
“Now you lost some weight, did a little Spanish reality show and came back and now he thinks he’s just Jacques Cousteau or something. My man, relax!”
It hasn’t been the most stable path to the top for Masvidal, but he has undoubtedly become the talk of the UFC over the last several months. That began with his impressive knockout via a flying knee to beat Ben Askren in a record five seconds in the match. That was followed by recording a TKO win over Nate Diaz for the honorary BMF belt.
All that has put Masvidal into the promising spot of being the fill-in for Burn with an opportunity to shake things up in the welterweight division thoroughly.
Expectations for Kamaru Usman/Jorge Masvidal fight
It will headline the first batch of fights that will take place on fight island located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Kamaru Usman is heading into the match as the overwhelming betting favorite to top Jorge Masvidal. Beyond dominating since joining the UFC since 2015, it’s a push up in weight class for Masvidal as he’s moving to 170 pounds from 155 pounds.
Meanwhile, Usman has shown that he is a versatile fighter, which should see his opponent look to stay on his feet for more of a hand-to-hand fight rather than get on the mat. All of that makes for some intriguing stories and hype for an entertaining main event match.