Less than a year ago, Kamaru Usman was scheduled to face Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ but Burns had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Working to keep Usman on the card, the UFC worked quickly and they were able to get Jorge Masvidal to agree to step in as a replacement on just six days notice.
Coming into the fight there was plenty of trash talk and a rivalry between Usman and Masvidal, and while the champion dominated the fight to take home a scorecard of 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46, he feels there is unfinished business between the two. In an interview with ESPN, Kamaru Usman stated that at this point in his career, he’s looking to make statements by finishing fights.
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) April 20, 2021
“That is definitely important. At some point in my career, it was about winning because you have to get the top. You’re climbing and you can’t climb if you’re stumbling every time, you take a step and you fall back. So it was about winning and winning and getting to that point. I’ve done that, I’ve shown the world that I’m the best that there is right now.”
As for his matchup with Masvidal, Usman says he wasn’t satisfied with what he described as domination of their first meeting.
At this point I’m starting to have fun with my career, I’m starting to open up, starting to learn new things, new tricks. We’re seeing the results of that. The reason I wanted to have this fight is cause I wasn’t truly satisifed with that first one. I took that fight on six days notice, cut all the weight, flew all the way to the other side of the world with a broken nose and still fought this man and dominated this man. I wasn’t satisifed with the way that I dominated him, I want to end this fight in emphatic fashion, which is why we’re replaying this fight.”
With a full training camp for both fighters coming into this rematch, it’ll be interesting to see what both Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal look like at UFC 261. There’s no mistaking that Usman is looking to close the door on this rivalry and if he does just that, he might have another rematch waiting for him in Colby Covington, according to UFC President Dana White.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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