Kamaru Usman returns to the octagon at UFC 258 this weekend as he looks to continue his dominance as welterweight champion.
Usman was last in action in July and secured a UFC 251 main event win over Jorge Masvidal.
Kamaru Usman returns to action this weekend at UFC 258
It was a methodical affair and while that can sometimes be equally pleasurable from a purist standpoint, it’s fair to say that most fans wanted to see Masvidal baptise Usman or hand him a three-piece and soda.
But that just wasn’t to be.
After taking the fight at six days’ notice, Masvidal was evidently short of the cardio requirements a bout against a world-class grappler would entail.
When you consider Usman spent just over 10 minutes of the 25 minute fight in the clinch, that tells you everything you need to know.
Take a look at the highlights from the fight below to watch how it all unfolded.
Masvidal showed great vigour throughout to escape Usman’s skilled clutches, but he was so exhausted from those struggles he didn’t carry the same explosiveness and power in the later rounds.
Following the bout, there was an undeniable respect between the pair and Usman seemed to agree when Masvidal suggested they could run the fight back if and when Masvidal gets a couple of wins under his belt.
Usman and Masvidal went to war at UFC’s Fight IslandGetty Images – Getty
Speaking after the fight, Masvidal gave Usman his due, but also insisted he could defeat the champion with a full camp.
“I’m not going to make no excuses. He was the better man tonight,” said Masvidal.
“There were some areas where I didn’t give him enough credit, and there were some areas I felt with a better training camp I could definitely surpass him.
“I think I showed a lot of my wrestling on six days’ notice that I’m not too easy to take down and to hold down on the ground.”
“I made a lot of mistakes,” continued Masvidal, who later admitted he got tired as the bout dragged on. “I didn’t feel my gas tank was the greatest.
Jorge Masvidal took his defeat in great stride
“He won fair and square. I’ll do whatever it takes to get back in front of that man and compete again and get my hand raised.
“I’ve got a good formula in my head though on how to beat him the next time.
“I thought I had the formula. Now I know the formula — it takes a lot of gas tank, a lot of conditioning, a lot more wrestling rounds with high level guys. So I definitely got a square root on how to beat this guy.”