Jorge Masvidal is not going to insult anyone’s intelligence and pretend as if flying halfway around the world to accept a fight with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on six days’ notice is the ideal way to prepare for the biggest bout of your life.
“Six days’ notice, how prepared could I be, you know?” Masvidal said during a UFC 251 virtual media day from Abu Dhabi on Thursday. “I’m as prepared as I need to be for Usman, but obviously it’s not a full training camp as if I had six weeks to prepare. I’d be different, my weight wouldn’t be this high. So I’m not going to say weight-wise I’m 100 percent. But everything else, my mind is ready, my heart is ready, my skill set is better than his any day of the week, so I just gotta go out and prove it.”
But then, this is far from the first rodeo for Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) with short-notice fights. The Miami-based competitor started out taking underground backyard scraps, then graduated to competing in just about every promotional banner under the sun over the course of a career which now has 45 officially sanctioned fights and counting.
Taking a fight on short notice is just another day at the office.
“The reason I’m here is, I’ve taken more opportunities like this in the past, I just didn’t get credit or whatever this was. But I’ve done this many times in my career, situations similar to this, and I’ve just got to take advantage of this. At end of day, it’s a fight not it’s not a math test, it’s not the SAT or a thing that I’m not the best at, its what I love to do the most, it’s what I’ve done since my childhood.”
That doesn’t mean Masvidal would accept a matchup with just anyone on this sort of timeline. Some opponents require a full training camp. But Masvidal insists that even though Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC), who is undefeated in UFC competition, holds the welterweight title, he is exactly the type of opponent Masvidal wants to face under these circumstances.
“My opponent? I don’t have faith in him,” he said. “There are other guys that I would have been ‘maybe I need more than six days,’ you know?
“Besides him having 17 different personalities and me not showing which one is going to show up to fight, I think he’s weak-minded.”
Asked later in the group interview whether he’s willing to give Usman credit, again Masvidal insists Usman is all hype.
“(He’s) nowhere near as good as advertised, and that’s why I’m here to prove it.”
UFC 251 takes place Saturday at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.