After dropping a unanimous decision on less than a week’s notice to Usman at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi, Masvidal will get his chance at redemption with a full training camp when they headline UFC 261 April 24 at the sold out VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Gamebred” expects to leave the building Saturday night with another championship belt to sit beside the “BMF title” on the mantle, and then run it back with “The Nigerian Nightmare” to settle the score once and for all.
“When I win the rematch we definitely will go for the trilogy,” Masvidal said during a virtual fan Q&A for ESPN+ subscribers on Tuesday hosted by Laura Sanko. “I will not go down in history 1-1 with this individual. It’s just not going to happen.”
Masvidal has not competed since the loss to Usman, while the reigning champion will have a quick turnaround a little over two months after stopping Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258 in February. The 33-year-old surpassed former champion Georges St-Pierre’s record for the most consecutive welterweight victories with 13 in his most recent title defense.
While he understands Usman had to deal with a lot of the same hardships ahead of their first meeting on Fight Island, Masvidal was asked what the biggest difference will be this time around compared to his first crack at welterweight gold.
“I’m not gonna cut 20 pounds of weight—mainly water—in six days [this time],” Masvidal explained. “Right now I’m eight, nine pounds before I hit the mark of 170 so it’s a different cut altogether. That will be the determining factor, I think.”
Once the rivalry with Usman is complete, Masvidal will be looking for the biggest fights with the highest possible pay days possible, as he stated in response to numerous fan questions about the future. Should the 36-year-old become a UFC world champion in his 50th professional MMA bout later this month, he says it would mean everything.
“I’m going to get the type of sleep I want when I have that belt,” Masvidal stated. “Let’s go. Let’s find out [what it will mean to be champion].”