Those Jorge Masvidal fans who are concerned about the short-notice nature of this weekend’s fight can rest a little easier.
On Saturday, Masvidal will challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi. It wasn’t always supposed to be that way, though. For months, everyone believed Usman and Masvidal would fight; however contract negotiations stalled the process before eventually falling through completely. Instead, the UFC scheduled Usman against Gilbert Burns, leaving Masvidal on the sidelines.
But then Burns tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was forced off the card. When that happened, the UFC turned to Masvidal to step in on short notice and now, instead of having months to prepare, Masvidal has only had six days. Or so it would seem.
Speaking with THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas podcast, UFC lightweight contender and Masvidal’s American Top Team teammate Dustin Poirier revealed that despite the contract negotiation snafu, Masvidal has been steadily preparing to face Usman this entire time, and that he played a pivotal role in Poirier’s own preparation for his fight with Dan Hooker two weeks ago.
“It’s a short-notice (fight) because he didn’t have the contract signed, but let me tell you what, this guy was there my whole training camp, he was my main sparring partner,” Poirier said. “We probably put in five weeks of sparring together. He flew in wrestlers, the best wrestlers in the world. I think he put them up and the guys were there just for Jorge, just for Masvidal to use. The guy never stopped training. Even when the fight fell through and they gave it to Burns, I think it was at the end of my training camp, Jorge was still in the gym every day like he had a fight.”
That is good news for Masvidal fans, as “Gamebred” is already facing an uphill battle even without the short notice. Oddsmakers currently have Usman installed as a heavy favorite over Masvidal, and that’s without taking into consideration that his head coach will no longer be able to corner him. But Poirier believes the BMF champion is going to surprise a lot of people on Saturday.
“I don’t know if he knew something that we didn’t, but the guy was in training camp the whole time and never stopped,” Poirier said. “I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people with the kind of shape he’s in. His timing is gonna be good (because) he was in my camp the whole time, helping a few guys, not just me. He’s in fight shape, I know that much. This isn’t a guy coming off the couch. This is a guy who was preparing to fight Usman and the fight fell through and he kept training.
“Like I said, I don’t know if he just had a premonition, had a feeling, but he was in the gym nonstop, so I’m excited for him. He’s a good guy and a pioneer of mixed martial arts so it’s great to see him get these opportunities.”
Masvidal is 35-13 in his MMA career and holds the UFC record for fastest stoppage, a five-second KO of Ben Askren.
Of words. Max Holloway: Alexander Volkanovski talking like a challenger instead of acting like the champ.
Money. Paige VanZant loves the UFC but ‘I could have just had a regular job with the same pay’ over the past six years.
Between the Links.
Masvidal’s training camp for Usman.
Wrapping up UFC 251.
Detailing Rory MacDonald’s evolution as a fighter.
The 10 best rounds in ONE Championship history. This is a fun one.
Fighters pick UFC 251.
Anik & Florian. Discussing UFC 251 and previewing the biggest fights.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
That didn’t last long.
Not going anymore. They turned my boy down. ♂️— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 7, 2020
Following the lead of my brothers @TeamKhabib & @DustinPoirier I’ll be auctioning off my fight kit from UFC 251. Unemployment in Hawaii is one of the highest in the US and many are struggling to eat. All proceeds will go to the @hawaiifoodbank. Thanks @ufc & @VisitAbuDhabi https://t.co/YqpscN1TK5— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) July 7, 2020
For a man who is retired, he sure does not act like it.
Gonna be a tough week for Ben.
Marty sucks— Troll Smasher (@Benaskren) July 8, 2020
Poor Leon Edwards is confused.
I appreciate every second spent next to you❤️ Champions are not born ........ you were more than a TRAINER for me!— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) July 7, 2020
May the Almighty grant you the highest degree of paradise by his grace
Verily, we belong to Allah, and we will return to Him. pic.twitter.com/obNYsxPfno
Apparently those rumors are not true.
Mike Perry has thoughts.
I hope judgement day is coming. I hope all you filthy mouth losers burn in the shithole sewers of hell. All you will see, smell & hear is nightmares of vomit and feces drowning you for eternity. Your life sucks so you hate on beauty you will never have but it will only get worse— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) July 7, 2020
If you’re going to market this, why not just make it the poster.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Who wins this weekend?
This poll is closed
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.