Kamaru Usman may not get fan credit for his approach to the fighting game, or for taking the fight at the main event of UFC 251 with Jorge Masvidal. It’s very good with him.
Usman’s originally scheduled opponent for the event was his teammate, Gilbert Burns, before a positive COVID-19 test resulted in a change of notice. Now “The Nigerian Nightmare” is happy to give people what they want in their second title defense.
There’s definitely more heat between him and Masvidal, which includes an incident during Super Bowl week where the two were separated on a radio line. With the rivalry at the center of the preparation for UFC 251, Usman is not focused on the rivalry, nor on the back-and-forth of pre-fight with his opponent.
“I’m a true martial artist,” Usman told reporters after the UFC 251 weigh-ins. “I don’t care about all the trash talk.” It kind of struck me. Everyone says, “Oh, you’re not entertaining us. You don’t give us the bullshit and this and that, “I really don’t care. I started being a martial artist, not a genius or a garbage talking machine, or whatever.
“Everything I say is a fact. This is really how I feel. Like I said in my last fight (with Colby Covington at UFC 245), I broke this guy’s face and that’s what happened. The fight before that, I said that I was going to dominate (Tyron) Woodley from start to finish and that’s exactly what happened. “
Masvidal begins his first fight for the UFC title after one of the most significant years in the history of the sport. After taking off all year 2018, “Gamebred” launched into fame with devastating finals of Darren Till and Ben Askren, as well as a dominant victory of the doctor’s arrest over Nate Diaz in the event principal of the UFC 244 event in November for the title “BMF”.
The champion may not be a fan of Masvidal the individual, but he has all the respect in the world for the fighter.
“I don’t sleep on his skills,” said Usman. “I’m not saying he has no skills, you still have to have skills to be present after 16 years of playing. Now do I think his skills are comparable to mine? I do not think so. But I think he’s the biggest and meanest guy I have to face next.
“I give credit where credit is due. Just like my last fight, it takes two for tango here. It’s not just for me. There are very few guys in history who can just sell things by themselves – like a Muhammad Ali or a Mike Tyson. It takes two. I need the right dance partner to be able to go out and do a performance like my last fight. I hope this is what will happen. “
UFC President Dana White said Friday that Gilbert Burns was “in the right place” to face the winner of the welterweight title fight on Saturday night. Usman focuses on his next opponent, while proving a point to Masvidal and MMA fans around the world.
“I don’t think this guy is at my level and [Saturday] at night, I just have to go over there and prove it. ”