This Saturday, the UFC welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal takes place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi at UFC 251.
This fight was not supposed to headline the card, however, but late changes had to be made after Usman’s original opponent Gilbert Burns had to pull out after he and a member of his team tested positive for coronavirus.
But, despite Masvidal coming in at very short notice, the fighting talk has been constant outside of the cage, where he has said he will “break (Usman’s) face” and has branded Usman a “coward.”
This isn't the first time that the two have been close to one another, however, as Usman was present at the fight between Masvidal and Ben Askren last year at UFC 239, where the former knocked his opponent out in under five seconds with a brutal flying knee.
Cameras actually caught how Usman reacted to the brutal finish of the fight and it's safe to say he was stunned, but slightly impressed by the manoeuvre.
It could be said that Usman is rather anxious about stepping into the cage to fight against Masvidal... but who wouldn't be after witnessing that blow at Octagonside?
All of the preparation and hard work the welterweight champion has put in in order to be ready for this fight could all be unravelled within five seconds if there is to be a repeat of what happened in the fight last year between his opponent this weekend and Askren.
Of course, we've also got to remember that the champ has spent large parts of training preparing for Gilbert, NOT for Masvidal, so that could easily hamper his performance this weekend.
Usman will have to be quick out of the blocks and forward thinking when coming up against Masvidal, or he risks losing his current ranking of number six in UFC's pound-for-pound rankings and also his welterweight championship, which he won back at UFC 235 when he defeated Tyron Woodley.
No doubt Usman will be wary of being caught early doors, especially after the view he got at Octagonside for Masvidal vs Askren.
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