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Kamaru Usman Tells Critics They Should Try Fighting Jorge Masvidal

Kamaru Usman [1] may have recorded a clear-cut victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 [2], but not everyone was happy with how he did so. Well, after his pivotal win, the welterweight champ had some interesting feedback for his critics.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Usman tells critics they should fight Masvidal

Masvidal came out pretty aggressively to begin the fight and fired off punches and kicks. But it wasn’t long before Usman responded with a takedown. For much of the fight, Usman leaned on his wrestling and clinch game to control the action and score points.

Well, predictably, some fans and fighters expressed their disapproval with Usman’s approach via social media. During the post-fight presser, Usman was asked to respond to the criticisms, and he had an interesting proposal (quotes via MMA Junkie [3]).

“Maybe they need to get in there and fight Jorge Masvidal for 25 minutes, then say something,” Usman said. “… Well, that’s the thing. There was a time where people starting hating Floyd Mayweather because he was so dominant.

Floyd, his defense was so good. He was just so good at what he did. We can agree on that. He was so good at what he did.

Everyone is like, ‘Oh that’s boring. He’s not fighting,’ because they didn’t see a bar fight.

“We’re risking our lives in there. We’ve trained. What’s the point of training each and every day and then go in there and just slugging around, taking punches?”

Now, even Usman’s biggest supporters would likely concede that Saturday’s fight wasn’t exactly thrilling. But, at the same time, you can’t really fault Usman for his game plan.

Heading into the fight, knowledgeable fans and observers understood that Usman would likely turn to his wrestling. After all, Masvidal is ridiculously dangerous on the feet.

It’s also worth noting that by the end of the fight, Usman had outstruck Masvidal by a 263 to 88 margin. [4]

Usman says there was “mutual respect”

In recent months, Usman and Masvidal had exchanged verbal shots and it looked like they were forming quite the rivalry. But, following Saturday’s bout, it looked like the two had settled their issues.

“It’s just mutual respect,” Usman said. “It’s hard not to respect a man when you spend 25 minutes in that Octagon punching each other in the face. Yeah, it’s just mutual respect. We both feel that we’ll do it again.

Absolutely. I would like more time to prepare for a guy like that and really be able to dominate in the way that I want to – picking my spots and try to get that finish standing.”

It will be interesting to see if these two cross paths again in the Octagon. If Masvidal can put together a couple of key wins, it probably will happen.