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.

Related items

  • Oliveira warns McGregor 'I'm going to put you on your a**' Oliveira warns McGregor 'I'm going to put you on your a**'

    New UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira told Conor McGregor "I'm going to put you on your a**", but warned the former two-weight king he needs to focus on a rematch with Dustin Poirier first.

    Oliveira made a narrow escape in the first round against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 on Saturday before dropping his opponent with the first punch of the second to claim the title vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

    Afterwards, McGregor congratulated Oliveira on Twitter, while hinting at a potential fight with the Brazilian.

    He wrote: "Congrats to Oliveira on becoming the 11th UFC lightweight champion. Wonder who Twelve is..."

    And Oliveira is clearly keen to face the Irishman on home soil but only if McGregor avenges his defeat to Poirier in January.

    "Conor, worry about Dustin," Oliveira told reporters.

    "Conor, since you're so tough: First of all, you beat Dustin, and then you come over to Brazil and I'm going to put you on your a**.

    "First, he's got to get past Dustin. He's one of these guys that just talks a lot. He's got to beat Dustin first."

  • UFC 262: Oliveira knocks out Chandler to take lightweight title UFC 262: Oliveira knocks out Chandler to take lightweight title

    Charles Oliveira made a narrow escape from the first round against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 before ending things in a hurry in the second. 

    Oliveira (31-8) dropped Chandler with his first punch after the break and won by TKO 19 seconds into the second round to claim the UFC lightweight title in Houston. 

    In his 28th UFC fight, the Brazilian earned his first strap, a belt left vacant when the unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to retire. 

    Chandler (22-6) had won the first round 10-8 on two judges' scorecards and 10-9 on the other, but he could not put Oliveira away. 

    Once the 31-year-old had a chance to compose himself, he showed his class with a single shot. 

    It was Oliveira's 17th career finish, moving him past Donald Cerrone for the most in UFC history. 

    In the co-headlining bout, Beneil Dariush dominated Tony Ferguson to win unanimous decision.

    The defeat was the third in a row for Ferguson (25-5), the former UFC lightweight interim champion, who previously lost by unanimous decision to Oliveira at UFC 256 in December. 

    The Iran-born Dariush (21-4-1) said his seventh consecutive win should put him in the conversation in the lightweight ranks, but he plans to take the next several months off as his daughter is due to be born in June. 

    Also on the card, Rogerio Bontorin defeated Matt Schnell and Katlyn Chookagian beat Viviane Araujo, both by unanimous decision, while Edson Barboza knocked out Shane Burgos at 1:16 in the third round. 

    For the second time in as many UFC events, an undercard fight ended with an apparent broken limb. 

    Brazilian veteran Jacare seemed to break his arm in losing by technical submission to Andre Muniz at 3:59 in Round 1. It was the first loss by submission for the 41-year-old Jacare (26-10).

    At UFC 261 a fortnight earlier, Chris Weidman broke his leg landing a kick on Uriah Hall. 

  • Davis 'hurting' with groin issue in Lakers' OT win Davis 'hurting' with groin issue in Lakers' OT win

    Anthony Davis revealed he was dealing with groin tightness as the Los Angeles Lakers scraped past the New York Knicks for a big overtime win on Tuesday.

    Davis missed more than two months with an Achilles issue but has crucially featured in all 11 games since his return last month, helping a Lakers team hit by a number of injuries.

    LeBron James remained out – instead an active cheerleader on the sidelines – as the defending champions defeated the Knicks 101-99 at Staples Center.

    Davis had 20 points but was clearly moving uneasily in the closing stages. He stayed in the game, though, with 43 minutes his most since early February.

    "I'm hurting," he said afterwards. "There's nothing worse on my body, just my groin got tight. That was really it, I'm not sure where it came from, but my groin got a little tight.

    "There was no way I was coming out of the game. It was a big game for us. The team was playing real hard, the situation that we're in, trying to battle for the six.

    "It was a big game for them, trying to battle for fourth, trying to keep that fourth seed – I think they might be sixth now after the loss, I'm not sure.

    "It was a huge game for us and I didn't want to come out, no matter injury, and finish the game and make sure we secure the win."

    The Lakers are quickly back in action against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and in need of another victory, still sitting seventh in the West – in an unwanted play-in place – but now just 1.0 games back from fifth.

    "I'm not sure about tomorrow. I'm going to get treatment and see how I feel," Davis said. "I want to say I'm going to play, but it was really bothering me tonight.

    "We'll see how I feel tomorrow and then later on in the day.

    "There's a very strong possibility that I fight through it and play since the next day's an off day, but also I don't want to have it lagging and then I'm out for a couple of games. We'll see how I feel."

    Regardless of Davis' status, there is the possibility James returns against the Rockets.

    Having won back-to-back games for the first time since late March, the Lakers could now have some momentum heading into the postseason.

    "It's good. It's a confidence booster for us," Davis said. "We've been playing well as of late.

    "If [James] comes back tomorrow, we can get him back acclimated with the team and get him back in the rhythm. If he doesn't then he doesn't, but we want him to get healthy first and foremost, get ready for the playoffs.

    "I'm not sure what he's going to do – that's none of my business, I just want him to get health – but my job is just to come out here and help this team.

    "If he is able to come back tomorrow, it's our job to get him back into a rhythm to get him ready for playoff mode, which we know he'll be ready for."

    Talen Horton-Tucker hit the game-winning three among eight overtime points, but the Lakers only reached that stage thanks to Davis' suffocating defense.

    The Knicks had the lead and the ball in the final 30 seconds of regulation, only for Davis to brilliantly stop All-Star Julius Randle (31 points) and force a shot-clock violation.

    "Julius, that's my guy," said the Lakers superstar, who guarded Randle throughout the closing stages. "I played with him in New Orleans and he's definitely developed his game, with his shooting ability and off the dribble.

    "That last possession, I just had to lock in defensively and make sure that he wasn't going to score to help the team.

    "I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end [in overtime] – he shot it a little higher than normal.

    "He's been playing like this all year. I think he's an MVP candidate, he for sure should win Most Improved, what he's doing, got this team in the playoffs right now for a team who hadn't been in the playoffs for a while.

    "He's playing his a** off and you can do nothing but respect him."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.