Early Sunday morning at Yas Arena in Abu Dhabi, Nigeria’s Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal to retain his UFC Welterweight title as the world keeps vigil to see the instalment of UFC 251 in the United Arab Emirates.
To the average fans out there it’s was a boring fight but to the martial arts heads, Kamaru Usman did what he has to do, wrestle and retain his title.
This is exactly what he did. He got a notice of a changed opponent six days to the fight and he strengthens his own strength and stifles out space for the opponents to perform at his optimum best.
” I had to switch gears and get ready for him on six days’ notice, I had to make a mental shift[but] all these guys are out here preparing for one guy, and that’s me,” Usman told broadcaster Jon Anik after the fight.
Masvidal is good at boxing, Kamaru knew it and he needed to avoid a shot that could to take him out.
This he did perfectly by clinching, smackdown, toe stomping and throwing of body shots which wear and tear the “Gamebred”.
In the end, Kamaru was convincing in 4 out of the 5 rounds after he was dazed by two Masvidal shots in the opening round, he took the rest of the rounds as Masvidal suffered five takedowns in all.
The Nigeria Nightmare won all the three judges cards 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 to take his UFC winning streak to 12-0 and his MMA career to 17-1 and retain the UFC welterweight title in the second title defence.
Surely, the Nightmare is living his dream, as he yet to lose a fight since 2013 but he doesn’t come easy.
It was a cagey fight, he fought cautiously and the fact the Masvidal have to cut 20 pounds within six days in other to make the weight made it easy a bit for Usman as the Cuban American easily tired out after the 3rd round.
Kamaru survived Masvidal sharp jabs and strikes early in the first round and change strategy by sticking to what works for him in the past. He leaned on Masvidal from the second round and get in lots of body shots and shoulder strikes which got Masvidal to wear out and lost a lot of energy.
In the third round, Usman took total control and continue to wrestle down Masvidal with lots elbows and dominates the fight in that manner all the way to the fifth round.
The numbers are not in favour of Masvidal. Masvidal knew this and he doesn’t have an answer as his fist are getting weaker. He could only resort to showmanship but the Kamaru is not ready to play games and stuck to his businessman approach till the bell goes.
It’s a great night for the Auchi born, he conquered at the ” Fight Night” and made it a “Nightmare ” for the “Gamebird”, the risk of staying in the fight after a change of opponent at short notice worth it, after all, a route he needs to avoid next time.
Till the next opponent shows up, Kamaru Rules.
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