The greatly anticipated 'Fight Island' unveiled itself to the world last night, and the headline event consisted of Kamaru Usman's dominant display that helped retain his welterweight title.
However, despite comfortably defeating Jorge Masvidal, the 'Nigerian Nightmare' has been bombarded with criticism.
From the first bell, Usman's careful and considerate approach became overwhelmingly evident. The Nigerian aimed to silence Masvidal's lethal striking abilities by resorting to grappling and pinning the American against the cage, to ultimately limit his opportunities.
Therefore, from the Nigerian's perspective, this was undeniably an extremely professional performance. However, many fans felt that they couldn't be further away from the edge of their seat.
Regarding his performance and the subsequent social media uproar, Usman was directly questioned in the post-fight press conference about fans' comments.
"Well, maybe they need to get in there and fight Jorge Masvidal for 25 minutes and then say something," the Nigerian responded.
He later added: "They can say whatever they want.
"Even when we were up against the cage, I worked for 25 minutes. I gave him opportunities where he could have got off the cage, but he was content staying there and I kept working," he explained.
Usman then continued to draw comparisons between himself and undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, who was also criticised during his prime for some fairly mundane fight nights.
"There was a time when people started hating Floyd Mayweather because he was so dominant," Usman explained.
"Floyd’s defence was so good and he was so good at what he did. 'Oh, that’s boring, he’s not fighting', because people want to see a bar fight? We’re risking our lives in there, and we’ve trained.
"What was the point of training each and every day and then go in there for a slugfest?"
As mentioned previously, Usman nullified the threat of Masvidal, who previously demonstrated his devastating capabilities against the likes of Nate Diaz, Ben Askren and Darren Till. It appears that the Nigerian approached this fight in a meticulous manner in regards to training and preparing for Masvidal.
"You can train to be able to make someone miss and control them in a certain way," he said. "That’s what training is for, so you’re not in there taking punishment at will. I do that better than anybody."
This victory places Usman in the record books alongside Georges St-Pierre for the longest undefeated streak in the welterweight division with 12.
The Nigerian denied the opportunity to call out his next opponent post-fight, but did reveal it's a dream of his to fight GSP, however, the Canadian has been retired since 2017.
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