UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman hasn’t been completely impressed by what Jorge Masvidal has achieved this year.
Masvidal recently dominated Nate Diaz on his way to a TKO (doctor stoppage) win in the UFC 244 headliner last week. That performance followed emphatic knockout victories over Darren Till and Ben Askren earlier in the year.
Many now believe “Gamebred” not only has a shot at being fighter of the year, but is also deserving of the next shot at the title. But for Usman, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding Masvidal, especially given the opponents that he has faced this year:
“I wouldn’t say [I’ve been] impressed,” Usman told MMA Fighting. “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.”
Usman also believes Masvidal is riding the wave of beating the highly-hyped Askren with a flying knee that became the quickest knockout in UFC history with five seconds. That catapulted the former lightweight into stardom.
And although he doesn’t see Masvidal as much of a threat, the attention he would bring in a fight is something that interests Usman:
“He’s got a lot of hype right now, and he’s been in this sport for a long, long time,” Usman added. “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.”
What do you think of Usman’s comments?