Jorge Masvidal will hope to follow in Michael Bisping’s footprints and win a UFC title on short notice. The UFC’s first BMF champion will fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title after the pair agreed to terms. He replaces Gibert Burns at short notice after the latter tested positive for COVID 19.
Masvidal had a stellar 2019. First of all, he knocked out Darren Till in front of a partisan London crowd. Then he slapped Leon Edwards after that fight. Instantly, his new nickname, ‘Street Jesus,’ seized the imagination of fans. But his coup de grace was when he knocked out Ben Askren by way of flying knee.
However, he has feuded with the UFC for most of this year. Masvidal felt undervalued because the UFC didn’t want to match his salary for the Nate Diaz fight. It turns out that it was worth the wait because fortune favors those who wait. Now he has the chance for glory.
— UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020
Due to financial issues and health crisis protocols, this fight didn’t look likely. However, the UFC caved because of its UAE partners. Now Masvidal and Usman will headline UFC: Fight Island on July 11 in Abu Dhabi. In the co-main event, Max Holloway searches for redemption against featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski.
The headline fighters will fly separately by private planes to Yas Island after passing health checks. It’s a sensational turn of events after the craziness of Masvidal’s relationship with the promotion. Of course, there are more obstacles. First of all, they must pass two more health checks. Then there is the obvious issue of making weight. Masvidal really doesn’t have a lot of time to get it all done.
Finances were a deciding factor for Masvidal. According to his manager, Malki Kawa, ‘Gamebred’ is very satisfied with what is on offer. It’s a far cry from his stance a couple of weeks ago when he told the UFC to pay him or he won’t fight. He stayed true to his word and now they will reward him for it.
His last fight was a victory over Nate Diaz when he won the BMF title. Masvidal has experienced a career resurgence in the past year. In short, he wants to maximize this moment to make as much money as possible for his children. Who can blame him for that? With his exciting fighting style and his Diaz-like personality, it’s no surprise that fans love him.
Meanwhile, this will be Kamaru Usman’s second defense of the title. First of all, he defeated Tyron Woodley to win the welterweight strap. Then he broke Colby Covington’s jaw in his first defense. Now he must fight one of the toughest men in the sport. But Usman is a strong favorite because of his preparation and his style.
With his wrestling base, Usman is a very difficult opponent. Masvidal can expect Usman to try and suffocate him with wrestling. Only time will tell how effective that is, but this will either be very exciting or extremely frustrating. Let’s hope it comes together.