UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman did not have the kindest words for his opponent Jorge Masvidal in the long-awaited rematch scheduled for UFC 261 in front of an arena packed with fans.
Taking place in Houston, Texas, inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the champion will once again defend his throne against a familiar foe, though this time the fight will be accompanied by a roaring live audience.
Before the welterweight shootout, champion Usman sat down with ESPN to catch up on his upcoming title fight. The welterweight champion has already shrugged off the former contender once, and while he said he respects Masvidal’s abilities, the champion underlined that Masvidal is simply an officer and not a contender at the height of his athletic status.
“Look, a lot of people put such a negative connotation with that ‘day laborer.’ Usman told ESPN. That is not necessarily a negative thing. You have to be good to be a day laborer. Because you have to be good enough to be accepted in all these different places that you go. And that’s what Masvidal has been. “Make no mistake, he is very talented. It is very, very hard. That’s right. He is a great fighter. I don’t take anything from him. He is a great fighter. But even great isn’t enough when it comes to me, and he gets it. And that the fans do not understand it, but that is what I intend to do on April 24 ”.
While the champion congratulated the former title challenger on his durability, the comments could be interpreted as an opportunity to criticize Masvidal for being a kind of middle-class fighter. However, Usman acknowledged the toughness of “Gamebred,” but said toughness just isn’t enough when you’re up against the greatest elite the sport has to offer. In an effort to emphasize his point, the champion reiterated his opening statement.
“He’s a day laborer,” Usman continued. “There is nothing wrong with that. It’s only when it comes to him and me, there are levels. I’m at an elite level and he’s not there yet. “
Granted, Masvidal’s record is not intact like Usman’s, but many would argue against Masvidal’s status as an “officer” at this point. In part of being a day laborer, they don’t have a true destiny, and that’s not necessarily true for Masvidal, as we’ve seen the resurrection of his career happen once before. Now that Masvidal is a pay-per-view sweepstakes, Usman also understands that business is booming when he fights “Gamebred.” The difference now, however, is watching the champion defend his belt in front of 15,000 roaring fans.
Who do you think will win the welterweight belt at UFC 262, Masvidal or Usman? Let us know below!