Masvidal was a late substitute to problem Usman at UFC 251 on Fight Island after Gilbert Burns needed to drop out of the bout as a result of he tested positive for COVID-19. Masvidal had just six days to prepare, and had a protracted flight to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He additionally wanted to lose roughly 20 kilos to make the welterweight restrict of 170 kilos, which in itself proved to be fairly a battle.
Once he cleared all of these hurdles, Masvidal lasted five rounds with Usman, though he misplaced each spherical on two scorecards and gained only one spherical on the third.
“[The weight cut] wasn’t fun,” Masvidal, 36, instructed ESPN on Monday. “It was lots of weight.
“I was 35 at the time. As you get older, the weight [cut] just sucks, you know? The last three pounds took longer than the first 17. Just trying to get those last three pounds out was a headache and a half. I don’t have to do that now for this fight. As I stand right now, I’m nine pounds away from the weight class, just ready to rock and roll.”
Masvidal stated he was decided to not let lacking weight spoil his first shot at UFC gold.
“When I got to 18 pounds [off], I started like, ‘Wow, this hurts,’ but all I kept thinking is, ‘It’ll mean nothing if I go out there and knock this guy out, so I’m going to make the weight like a man,’ because I’ve never missed weight,” he stated. “I signed that dotted line. Let’s compete. I’m going to make this weight. If not, then I shouldn’t have taken the fight. That would have been the coward’s way out. I made sure I made the weight and then gave it my best.”
In the Octagon after the choice was introduced, the 2 talked about working it again. That turned extra probably on Feb. 13, when Usman beat Burns after which called out Masvidal for a rematch.
“Looking at all the contenders, there was one I still had a bad taste in my mouth from,” Usman instructed ESPN. “And it wasn’t from what people said or what people thought, it was because of what I thought and what I felt after the fight. I was still able to get the win, but not in the way that I wanted. He had a built-in excuse, to where I kind of had to rectify that one.”
Usman stated his aim for the rematch is straightforward.
“I don’t think I broke him in the way I wanted to break him,” Usman stated. “And so that’s really what I’m after.”
Usman is a heavy favourite at -380, in response to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
Masvidal was not impressed by Usman’s third-spherical stoppage of Burns on Feb. 13. While Usman stated he is getting higher, Masvidal believes he is the identical fighter he confronted final 12 months.
“I just know that he knows that I’m going to have gas for five rounds, and he’s going to have to put up with that f—ing insane pace of me trying to just end him from start to finish,” Masvidal stated.