UFC

UFC 251: Masvidal and Usman make weight for title fight

By Sports Desk July 10, 2020

Late replacement Jorge Masvidal made weight for his first title fight with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on Sunday.

Masvidal and Usman tipped the scales at 170 pounds to ensure the belt will be on the line at UFC 251 at 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

The 35-year-old, known as 'Gamebred', took the fight on six days' notice and claimed he needed to cut around 20lbs in the build-up to Friday's weigh-in.

Masvidal agreed to step in after initial challenger Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus and was forced to withdraw.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Masvidal said: "Usman for a fact has crossed lines that no other competitor that I've fought has talked about. He's talked about things he's going to do to my butt hole. I don't understand why he's talking about my butt hole.

"He's talking about my ethnicity – whether I'm this, I'm that. He's telling people that I'm saying I'm God. You can't find a video or Twitter thing with me ever saying that I said I'm God.

"So, this guy's just doing a lot of things that's going to cause him to get hurt in a violent way. And if the referee trips on the way to stopping me, and I get to get a couple extra punches, I wouldn't mind.

"They're going to be a little more than super necessary punches. It's going to be a little something special where I'm going to have to go into my fast-forward speed, and truly send this guy to another plain."

Burns was handed the fight after initial talks between Masvidal and UFC broke down, with the fighter and the organisation becoming embroiled in a public pay dispute.

Usman questioned Masvidal's motives for speaking out, having taken a fight so soon after calling for all UFC competitors to receive better pay.

"First of all, I never said Kamaru Usman was not getting paid, so let's not think that. But at the end of the day, I'm true to myself and I'm real with what I say," said Usman.

"My negotiations with the company are done behind closed doors, and they get done, which is why I'm here to fight.

"He was the one complaining, advocating [that] all fighters need to get paid, fighters need this, fighters need that. But the moment he got a little bit of extra money, guess what, he said: 'Bye, I'm out. I'm signing, and I'm going to fight.'

"So, where's all that unity now? Where is all of that? You talked all of this big game about you're not going to fight, fighters don't get paid, but now, here you are. So, it goes to show that he's out for himself.

"But it is what it is. I'm glad he's getting some money for this, because I wouldn't want to not get paid for getting my ass beat by somebody named the 'Nigerian Nightmare'."

Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway made weight for their featherweight title clash, while Petr Yan and Jose Aldo also ensured a new bantamweight champion will be crowned.

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