Kamaru Usman is finally satisfied.
From the moment he finished Gilbert Burns back in February, the reigning UFC welterweight champion had been calling for a rematch against Jorge Masvidal because he just wasn’t happy with his performance in their first meeting. Despite winning a lopsided decision, Usman felt like he didn’t have his best night at the office and that was only compounded by Masvidal taking the fight on just six days’ notice, which he felt gave his rival a “built in excuse” for the loss.
Fast forward to UFC 261 where Usman was looking to make a statement in the rematch with Masvidal and he delivered in emphatic fashion after slamming home a brutal right hand in the second round that absolutely floored Masvidal and finished the fight. Considering his desire to rewrite the first fight, Usman had no complains about the result on Saturday night.
“I’m satisfied,” Usman said about his performance at the UFC 261 post-fight press conference. “That’s what I said, I wasn’t satisfied with the last one and I wanted to be satisfied tonight and I got that. It’s satisfying. I wanted to be satisfied tonight.
“When I compete against another man, I want it to be satisfying in knowing that man respects me for what I do. That’s all it is. I’m satisfied.”
Usman had been setting up his right hand from the first exchange of the fight and he had already tagged Masvidal with a couple of those punches in the opening round.
According to the welterweight champion, he had a pair of specific combinations in mind that could lead to the knockout and one of those eventually paid off.
“There was two set ups to that right hand that I just envisioned them landing and that one was one of them,” Usman said. “I tried the second one in the first round but he’s a veteran, he’s game and he saw it coming. I just had to stay composed and I was going to find it.”
As soon as the right hand landed, Masvidal’s entire body twisted around before he fell to the canvas where Usman followed up with a few more shots until the referee stopped the fight.
While there were certainly no egregious shots landed, Usman was asked about those finishing blows and if there was any extra satisfaction from those last couple of punches that Masvidal ate.
“Extra shots? What do you mean? Those extra shots? The ref didn’t pull me off yet,” Usman responded. “I keep going until the ref pulls me off. Those were super necessary.”
Considering his comments about the first fight, Usman knocking out Masvidal had to be the ideal scenario because now he puts the “BMF” champion behind him once and for all.
“I had to go out there and I definitely blessed him,” Usman said. “I did. I blessed him. He pushed me, he motivated me to come out there and do what I did tonight. I’m just happy. I’m just blessed.”
Still undefeated in the UFC and now with four title defense on his resume, Usman has definitely cemented himself as the best welterweight in the world and he’s continuously pulling away from the competition.
After the event was over, UFC president Dana White confirmed that former interim champion Colby Covington was the new No. 1 contender and he would be getting the next shot at the title.
While Usman has never declined an opponent, he already broke Covington’s jaw in their first meeting after putting away the always outspoken welterweight with a fifth-round knockout.
Even Usman admits it would be hard to top that one.
“I broke the kid’s jaw. How satisfying can you be after that?” Usman said. “I’m not really worried about any of these guys. Like I said, I lapped the field. I’m coming around and I’m coming with a vengeance. They have to show me something. Motivate me. Jorge, I wasn’t satisfied so he still motivated me.
“I just want these guys to show me that. Like I said, I’ve fought everyone that’s been put in front of me. These guys all ducked me for years. I just came through and I came through like a Miami hurricane.”