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Kamaru Usman praises Jorge Masvidal after retaining the welterweight title on Fight Island

‘Gamebred is currently the biggest and meanest guy out there’: Bullish Kamaru Usman praises Jorge Masvidal after taking him down to keep the welterweight title on Fight Island – but declares himself ‘one level better’

  • Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal to maintain his UFC welterweight title
  • Usman dominated and achieved a unanimous victory of 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 points
  • Masvidal recorded the fight with a six-day notice and looked sluggish on Fight Island
  • But after the game, Usman called his opponent ‘the biggest meanest guy’

Kamaru Usman retained his UFC welterweight title after defeating a slow Jorge Masvidal on Fight Island – but earned praise for his opponent before declaring himself “one level better.”

The 33-year-old won the victory with a unanimous decision from all three judges and dominated Masvidal, who notoriously took the fight just six days in advance, in the headline game at UFC 251.

And after equaling Georges St-Pierre’s record of 12 consecutive welterweight victories, a bullish Usman admitted that Masvidal turned out to be ‘tough’ on the rest of the division during his statement performance.

Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal to retain the welterweight title at UFC 251 on Fight Island

Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal to retain the welterweight title at UFC 251 on Fight Island

After defeating Masvidal, who had six days to prepare for the match, Usman praised his opponent

After defeating Masvidal, who had six days to prepare for the match, Usman praised his opponent

After defeating Masvidal, who had six days to prepare for the match, Usman praised his opponent

He said: ‘Gamebred (Masvidal) is currently the biggest and meanest guy out there, so I had to change gears within six days beforehand.

“All these guys are preparing for one man and that’s me, at the top of the mountain.

“I trained for Gilbert (Burns), I had a different game plan. Gamebred is tough, he landed a few elbows from the bottom and didn’t stop.

“I knew Jorge is tough, I’ve always said it, without talking all the rubbish and all the things that were going on, Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that.

The 33-year-old's superior wrestling and wrestling had proved too much for the fan favorite

The 33-year-old's superior wrestling and wrestling had proved too much for the fan favorite

The 33-year-old’s superior wrestling and wrestling had proved too much for the fan favorite

Usman has matched Georges St-Pierre's excellent record of 12 straight victories in welterweight

Usman has matched Georges St-Pierre's excellent record of 12 straight victories in welterweight

Usman has matched Georges St-Pierre’s excellent record of 12 straight victories in welterweight

“I’m just better. I have more tools in the toolbox and if needed I can take them out and use them. ‘

An accidental head clash drew blood from the challenger early on, but Usman rallied to take control of the rest of the game and even cut Masvidal again after taking the second round.

The steady display of the champion forced Masvidal to look for a sensational finish in the championship round, but he was forced to elbows and did not recover.

Masvidal was drafted just days ahead of the showpiece after Gilbert Burns was scratched from the lineup after testing positive for coronavirus.

The UFC hosted its first 'Fight Island' event with UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening

The UFC hosted its first 'Fight Island' event with UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening

The UFC hosted its first ‘Fight Island’ event with UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening

He had earned a shot at Usman’s crown after his wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in a trio of interruptions.

Abu Dhabi hosted the latest UFC event, turning the emirate’s Yas Island into ‘Fight Island’ – which will host four separate spectacles in July.

However, some viewers were disappointed with the product they received, and the total package produced few surprises despite the remote and idyllic location.

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