Ahead of his UFC 258 welterweight title defence against Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns, dominant division pack leader, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman has welcomed the possibility of running back his most recent successful title knockback, in the form of a future re-run with Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal.
Finally slated to match with Sanford MMA teammate, Burns after two prior failed pairings, Usman met with the aforenoted, Masvidal at UFC 251 on short-notice — as the BMF champion drafted in for a COVID-19 stricken, Burns.
Ahead of the targeted matchup with Burns at UFC 256 on December 12, Usman was forced to postpone the attempted defence as he required extra time to recover from a couple of niggling injuries.
Speaking with ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto ahead of his third attempted showdown with the surging, Burns, Usman claimed that he wasn’t necessarily impressed with his own performance against the Floridian on short-notice, despite comfortably claiming four out of five rounds.
“I was unhappy because as much as I put into preparing for fights, I basically was just on autopilot that fight,” Usman said. “A lot of things played a factor in that fight. I’m way better than that. I have way more tools and skills to display than what I showed because out there, I beat him with stuff I’ve been doing for five years.“
“It’s me versus me out there,” Usman explained. “So, there’s a potential of that fight happening again if he (Jorge Masvidal) works himself there, but I want to do it again because I want to put an exclamation on it. I want to finish him. I want to impress myself.“
Welcoming the prospect of a re-run with the American Top Team staple, Usman plans to finish Masvidal in a potential rematch, claiming former interim lightweight titleholder, Justin Gaethje had broken his nose during a sparring session in preparation for the UFC 251 clash.
“Two weeks before, shattered,” Usman said. “A lot of people haven’t dealt with a broken nose. When anything comes close to your face, you’re trying to defend and get that nose hit. There are a couple of guys here (Denver, Colorado) who hit pretty hard. We can blame that one on Carrington Banks and Justin Gaethje.“
Hoping to score his third successful title defence, Usman knocked back former interim champion and arch-rival, Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington at UFC 245 in December of 2019 before his unanimous decision win over Masvidal.
Sitting at the #4 rank in the official 170-pound pile, Masvidal has been continously linked alongside former teammate and friend, Covington over the last few months, however, as of yet, a matchup has yet to come to fruition.