Kamaru Usman defends the UFC welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal in a rematch at UFC 261. The first encounter between the two was domination from the defending champion. However, there is still a narrative that the rematch would be much different.
We witnessed Francis Ngannou beating Stipe Miocic in the rematch after getting dominated in the first fight. But this is a completely different scenario.
Jorge Masvidal did not take a single fight after his last loss against Kamaru Usman. And we just have not seen any improvements from Masvidal since the first fight. The narrative that Jorge Masvidal would have beaten Usman if he had a full training camp is the reason the champion has granted Masvidal another shot at the title.
But, the training partner of Kamaru Usman, Justin Gaethje believes Masvidal is making a mistake by accepting the rematch. Justin Gaethje believes that the only way Masvidal could have beaten Usman was on a short notice fight. With a full training camp, they can come up with a game plan to anhilate Masvidal.
In the UFC countdown series for UFC 261, Gaethje stated:
“His best chance was short notice. He is F***d now. The more time we have to plan for him, the better. He manned up to take this one again, I will give him that. But, yeah it’s going to be ugly.”
Kamaru Usman is looking to make a statement against Jorge Masvidal
Kamaru Usman also believes that the rematch will end with a vicious finish as he says:
“One of us had a built-in excuse. Oh, he took the fight on a six days notice, so did I. This time giving him a full camp and I’ll go in there and put the nail in the coffin.”
Jorge Masvidal did have a rough weight cut before the first encounter with Kamaru Usman. And that did play a factor in the fight as Masvidal gassed out in the later rounds.
However, Usman was preparing for Gilbert Burns. And Masvidal is a completely different fight. Looking at Usman vs Burns, it’s clear that Usman was aiming to have a striking battle with Burns. But, with a full camp, Usman will likely focus more on grappling and wrestling.
He will also have a much-improved striking going into the rematch. Considering all the factors, it’s safe to say that the rematch is going to be different and Masvidal will put a tougher fight. But, Usman is just a nightmare matchup for Masvidal and he is going to get the win at UFC 261.