UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defeat Colby Covington in their rematch because “his hands are where they need to be right now”, says Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal (35-15) felt the full force of Usman’s power at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Florida when he was knocked out for the first time in his 50-fight career.
UFC president Dana White confirmed #1-ranked welterweight contender Colby Covington (16-2) will be the next fighter to challenge for the title. Usman (19-1) beat Covington via a fifth-round TKO at UFC 245 in December 2019.
Masvidal knows Covington well from the time they spent training together at American Top Team before the former UFC interim welterweight champion left the gym last year following conflicts and incidents with his former teammates.
But “Gamebred” is backing Usman to get the job done once the fight is finalised.
“I think Kamaru keeps his hands up and comes to fight Colby the same fight that he did the first time. He just puts a thorough beating on him,” Masvidal said to ESPN. “Colby will try and get some takedowns on him, and it might not work. Colby’s gas tank with other wrestlers is not something he wants to do. That’s why he didn’t take a shot in the first fight because he knows he’s gonna have to get tired.
With the 170lbs title on the line if a date can be set for later this year, the winner of this highly-anticipated rematch will be recognised as the world’s best welterweight, their name forever etched in the history books.
Masvidal believes Usman has improved massively from their first fight at UFC 251 and he can make further adjustments for a second fight with Covington.
“As long as Kamaru is in wrestling shape and comes in the same as the first time, hands up, pressuring him, I think he breaks him again,” he added. “His hands are where they need to be at right now. I bet he’s gonna have more confidence than ever because he knows I’m somebody that’s never been finished so he can definitely take that with a pride of honour, put his hard head on, keep getting the work. I think he gets a finish on Colby.”