ABU DHABI — Jorge Masvidal said he’s crushed to let his supporters down after losing to Kamaru Usman in the UFC 251 main event, but he intends to bounce back and earn a rematch.

Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 12-7 UFC) refused to make excuses for his unanimous decision defeat to Usman (17-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) in Saturday’s welterweight title headliner at Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. He took the fight on six days’ notice and had to endure a sizable weight cut and a large amount of travel to get into the octagon, and although he said some of those elements may have played a factor, he doesn’t point to them as the reason he lost.

“I hate coming up short,” Masvidal told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the UFC 251 post-fight news conference. “I ain’t going to make no excuses. He was the better man tonight. There was some areas where I didn’t give him enough credit and there was some areas I felt with a better training camp I could definitely surpass him. I think I showed a lot of my wrestling on six days’ notice that I’m not too easy to take down or hold down on the ground.

“I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to fight in spots where I didn’t think my gas tank was the greatest. Right when I would get loose he would clinch me up and take it right back into his world. So, I’m not going to take anything away from him. He won fair and square. I will do whatever it takes to get back in front of that man and compete again and get my hand raised.”

Masvidal made it clear he’s determined to rematch Usman after UFC 251. He expressed as much to the champion inside the octagon immediately after the decision was announced, and Masvidal is already focused on putting the loss behind him.

There are several potential next-fight options for “Gamebred,” such as grudge matches with Colby Covington and Leon Edwards, or perhaps a “BMF” title rematch with Nate Diaz. Masvidal said all possibilities on the table, but he’s not going to jump to rush into anything until he fully digests the UFC 251 outcome.

“Definitely going to sit back and evaluate the next one,” Masvidal said. “I don’t know if I’ll be coming back at the end of the year or early next year. I’m going to sit down with my management and figure it out. But whoever it is next year I just want to come back and get a stoppage and be in peak shape, have a six-pack when I’m out there and just be right.”

Whatever comes next for Masvidal, be believes it’s ultimately just a step back to the rematch with Usman. If Masvidal had beaten Usman, he would have had more MMA fights than any first-time champion in UFC history. He took the long road to get his first title shot, and he said he’s happy to continue to take the hard road to finally get what he wants.

“We’ll do it again,” Masvidal said. “I just can’t wait. They’ll put an opponent in front of me and I’ll take care of business and I’m going to come back better than ever. I’m not going to go – I’m not going to disappear from the sport without this belt being wrapped around my waist. One way or another. It’s not my best performance tonight but everyone gets to see the dog in me and that dog doesn’t shut up or roll over for nobody.”