Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman will clash once again for the UFC welterweight title this weekend.
The first time, the fight was put together on six days notice after Gilbert Burns, Usman’s original opponent, was forced to withdraw with Covid-19.
Masvidal stepped up at UFC 251 and went the distance, but Usman secured the landslide win on points.
This time, Masvidal has had a full camp and has been training just for Usman. When he got on the scales for the weight in – where he was exactly 170lbs – Gamebred looked in perfect condition.
When the fight took place in 2020, the BMF champion looked drained from having to lose so much weight so quickly. Cutting weight like that made him look shredded, but he also nearly fainted on the stage.
This time around, he looks a healthy 170lbs and that could make all the difference when the pair clash at UFC 261.
Usman openly chose to give Masvidal another shot at the title after the pair intimated they would run it back after their first short-notice encounter.
Masvidal says should he win at UFC 261, he’ll give the Nigerian Nightmare the same courtesy.
“Definitely, he gave me a chance,” Masvidal said at the UFC 261 pre-fight press conference (via MMAFighting). “Whether we see eye-to-eye on things or not, he gave me another chance to compete, so I’ll definitely give him the chance to compete again.”
Usman says things are not personal between him and Masvidal, at least from his perspective. It’s all business, but the champion wants Masvidal to know he’s done him a favour.
“Let’s just be honest here,” Usman said to Masvidal. “You’ve got 14 losses in your career, seven in the UFC. You’re 3-3 in your last six. You are sitting there today because I chose you.”
The title fight is just one of three on the card for UFC 261 this week with Rose Numajumas challenging Weili Zhang for the UFC women’s strawweight title and Valentina Shevchenko defends her women’s flyweight title against Jessica Andrade.