UFC: Usman On Masvidal: He’s Getting The Luck Of The Draw
Despite the fact that Kamaru Usman will defend his UFC welterweight title in a grudge match against Colby Covington in the UFC 245 main event, a lot of the recent talk in the 170lbs division has been on Jorge Masvidal, who has just been crowned the Baddest Mother F***er on the planet after beating Nate Diaz at UFC 244.
The win over Nate was Masvidal’s third straight inside the UFC Octagon in impressive style, having scored spectacular knockouts of Darren Till and Ben Askren. Although not everyone appears to be dazzled. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Usman said he wasn’t overly impressed with ‘Gamebred’.
“I wouldn’t say [I’ve been] impressed. Because it’s Masvidal, nothing’s changed. He’s the same guy. He’s fought the same way forever. It’s just the luck of the draw. He’s getting that luck of the draw.
“Let’s be honest, Darren Till dropped him in the first round of their fight, and let’s say if he didn’t land that punch [in the second round], how does that fight play out? Had he not landed that knee [against Ben Askren]—and I’m not going to say it’s lucky because he drilled that—how does that fight play out? There’s a lot of questions to be answered.”
Although Usman thinks Masvidal has done a phenomenal job with the opportunities presented to him, he still questions his ability to dominate a top welterweight.
“I’ve yet to see him fight a full-on welterweight from start to finish and completely dominate them. Then at that point I can say this is a different guy. But I think right now he’s riding the wave, and he’s got the luck of the draw on his side.
“Ultimately, you can’t knock anything that he’s done. I think he’s done a phenomenal job with the opportunity he’s been presented with and he’s ran away with it. I’m happy for him on that end.”
Despite being one of the biggest names in the game right now, the 170lbs champion believes that Masvidal is still the same fighter that lost to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia, not that long ago.
“He’s riding that hype right now. That’s the thing with guys like Ben Askren, he came in and he really ran his mouth and really got the people riled up. And so when you create that much hype, and you put a guy like Jorge Masvidal in front of him, and let’s say [Askren] goes out there and does what he wants to do to Jorge Masvidal, you hear nothing about Jorge Masvidal anymore.
“[Masvidal is] the same guy who wins one or two, then loses one or two. It’s still the same guy. Because he landed that knee in such impressive fashion, he stole that hype that Askren was potentially riding. That has a lot to do with where he’s at right now.”
Usman thinks that not only does he dominate Masvidal inside the Octagon, but that his UFC 245 opponent Covington, would also be a bad matchup for his former best friend.
“I have never been in their training sessions, but I’m pretty sure we can kind of conclude how that went as far as [Masvidal and Covington] in the room training and what not. Because when Masvidal has been through the wringer, or fought wrestlers who were somewhat tough, he had a problem with them. You can only imagine what a guy that actually knows him and works with him everyday inside the room was doing to him.”
While not impressed, Usman said he would be ‘very, very interested’ in derailing Masvidal’s hype train.
“He’s got a lot of hype right now, and he’s been in this sport for a long, long time. But at the end of the day, does it really matter that you have all that hype if you never get to the pinnacle of the sport? I like the fact that that he has all this hype. It brings a lot of eyes. So if he does make it to me and that fight is made, I would actually be very, very interested in that.”