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Kamaru Usman on Why It’s “Crazy” Jorge Masvidal Has “All This Hype”

Jorge Masvidal [1] is coming off a fighter-of-the-year contender campaign, and has become one of the biggest names in MMA as a result. But, if you ask Kamaru Usman [2] whether “Gamebred” deserves all the buzz and hype that’s surrounding him these days, the UFC’s welterweight champ will tell you no.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Usman piles on Masvidal’s skillset

For years, many hardcore fans and industry figures have regarded Masvidal as one of the toughest outs in all of MMA. After all, before 2019, Masvidal had only been stopped by strikes in one of his 45 pro-bouts to that point. What makes that stat even that more impressive is that Masvidal has many, top tier fighters over the years.

But, last year, “Gambred” finally established himself as a mainstream commodity by bombing out Darren Till and Ben Askren, before defeating Nate Diaz in November. The veteran also drew a lot of attention as he drove for a fight with Conor McGregor, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

What fight seems to be next for Masvidal is a showdown with Usman, and the two have been trading verbal shots now for several weeks. Case in point, while speaking to the media this past weekend at UFC 247, Usman had this to say about the American Top Team fighter (quote via MMA Junkie [3]):

“Let’s weigh it out right now,” he said. “Me standing with Masvidal or me standing with Tyron Woodley? Tyron Woodley could touch you and put you out. I should be worried about Masvidal? This guy’s fought Demian Maia. What happened? He took an L. He fought “Wonderboy.” What happened? Took an L. It’s crazy to me that he has all this hype and everyone’s saying, ‘He’s this striker, he’s this killer,’ all this and that. It doesn’t matter. I’m gonna do me. I’m gonna put him on his ass, I’m gonna put it on him until he wants to quit and then, if he stands up, I will knock him out if I need to.

“But everyone’s talking about striking. First of all, you’ve 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 I’m going to beat on you until you quit.”

Is Usman on point?

So, it is true that Masvidal came up short against Maia, who was able to take him down and control more of the fight (and lost via split decision). Against Thompson, who is a striking machine, he also took a loss as Usman noted. But, Masvidal did go three rounds with him and lost via decision. Further, it seems like since that defeat Masvidal has been a more aggressive fighter and that’s paid off dividends for him. After all, he did take out Till who is certainly no slouch on the feet.

All that said, chances are Usman will be the favorite to beat Masvidal on account of his wrestling and pressuring style. Recently Dana White said that the UFC is hoping to book the match-up in July, [4]