No. 5 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal spoke with Ariel Helwani after he lost by way of second round knockout to divisional king and no. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC 261.
This was the second time Usman and Masvidal crossed paths, with the first being a unanimous decision loss for Masvidal at UFC 251.
However, Masvidal came into the rematch with unwavering confidence and believed this time around he would certainly get the victory after he saw how Usman approached the first fight.
But Usman’s approach changed drastically. Despite the fact that Usman secured takedowns and utilized wrestling, “The Nigerian Nightmare” was incredibly aggressive with his striking.
The welterweight champ threw his shots with power throughout the main event and eventually connected in the second round with a devastating jab that made Masvidal stiffen up prior to hitting the canvas. Usman then followed up with some powerful shots on the ground for good measure.
Masvidal credited Usman for his work on the feet.
“He hit the perfect off button, and then followed through right on. I think even before I hit the floor. I wasn’t really good, and good in the sense of like, I was hurt. To the point where my legs just went out, and this has never happened in my whole career,” Masvidal said.
Masvidal even went on to say he was a fan of the straight jab along with the set up for the knockout shot from Usman that ultimately put him out.
“It makes me appreciate the knockout. I look at it and I’m like, wow, perfect timing. Misleading as f–k. I thought he was going in for a shot and when I realized it wasn’t a shot, it was too late,” Masvidal said. “I was throwing my check left hook but it was already too late. I read the information wrong. So he sold it to me beautifully and that’s why he got those results and gosh. Of that moment right there? I am a fan, because I love the sport so much. It’s just beautiful technique.”
“Gamebred” said he thought about a number of topics after losing to Usman for the second time. Masvidal expanded on what those things were.
“Several things. About retirement, or could I get the belt? Because if I’m not going for the belt, what am I doing here?” Masvidal said. “I’m not just fighting to fight either. I’m just going to be number one.”
Despite the fact that Masvidal pondered the idea for a moment in time, he ultimately decided to continue fighting and plans on getting in the octagon later this year.
One of many storylines that came from the aftermath of UFC 261 was the return of Nick Diaz.
When asked if he could be a potential opponent for Masvidal, “Gamebred” stated he was very open to the idea.
“Nick is a stud. If Nick wants to throw down, we can throw down. Like I said, I’m gonna do it on my time. I’m not gonna take no short notice fights, I don’t care who it is,” Masvidal said. “But if Nick does want to fight towards the end of this year, what could I say man? I’m here. You wanna do right for your brother? Let’s go. I heard in a lot of interviews that he wasn’t too keen on what I did to his little brother.”
Masvidal is of course referring to his TKO victory over Nate Diaz by way of doctor’s stoppage at UFC 244 to win the BMF belt.
“I feel for Nick in that situation. I know what I’d wanna do if somebody did that to my little brother. So let’s go,” Masvidal said.
As far as what is immediately next for “Gamebred”, Masvidal said it’s getting back in the gym.
“Just train man. Just focus. I’ve been here before when I was younger. When you put so much into something and then you lose, I can deal with memes or like people. Things like that. But what I can’t deal with is the anxiety that it gives me,” Masvidal said. “Like, ‘Damn, I want to do this. I didn’t get to perform’. All this extra energy you get, if you point that in the right direction, it’s good. If you point that in the wrong direction, it’s horrible and bad habits get made from that and I know that. So what I have to do is either train or find something that keeps my mind occupied.”
Regardless of what is next for Masvidal in his mixed martial arts career, it is safe to say the MMA community will be watching.