A day after Gilbert Burns had to pull out of UFC 251 card scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, Jorge Masvidal stepped on short notice to fight Kamaru Usman fight.
Jorge Masvidal vs Kamaru Usman, in essence, is a much bigger fight. The pair were initially scheduled to fight at UFC 251, but the fight fell apart following failed monetary negotiations between the UFC and Jorge Masvidal.
Jorge Masvidal successfully cleared his COVID-19 test in Las Vegas and flew into Abu Dhabi in a chartered flight.
Jorge Masvidal was in the training camp
Masvidal’s coach Mike Brown stated last week that despite not having a fight scheduled he was training in the gym and helping Dustin Poirier prepare for the Dan Hooker fight.
“He’s been in every day. He’s in great shape. He’s ready to go,” Masvidal’s head coach Mike Brown told MMA Fighting. “We had some great wrestlers in for him to train with. He was working with Bo Nickal and Cody Law, a couple of high-level Penn State wrestlers. He was getting ready for the Usman fight.
Jorge Masvidal is in fighting shape: Dustin Poirier
While Jorge Masvidal may have taken the fight on short notice, he was already in a fighting shape according to Dustin Poirier.
Poirier revealed that Masvidal was helping him prepare for Dan Hooker fight and they were sparring with each other for nearly five weeks.
Dustin Poirier on Jorge Masvidal:
"He's in fight shape, I know that much. This isn't a guy coming off the couch. This is a guy who was preparing to fight Usman and [when] the fight fell through he kept training."
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 8, 2020
“It’s a short notice (fight) because he didn’t have the contract signed. But let me tell you what. This guy was there my whole training camp (for Dan Hooker), he was my main sparring partner. We probably put in five weeks of sparring together. He flew in wrestlers, the best wrestlers in the world, I think they put them up just for Masvidal to use. Even when the fight fell through and they gave it to Burns, I think it was at the end of my training camp, Jorge was still in the gym every day like he had a fight,” Poirier said.
“I don’t know if he knew something we didn’t, but the guy was in training camp the whole time and never stopped. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people with the shape he’s in, his timing’s going to be good because he was in my camp the whole time. Helping a few guys, not just me. He’s in fight shape, I know that much. This isn’t a guy who’s coming off the couch. This is a guy who was preparing to fight Usman and the fight fell through and he kept training,” Poirier concluded. (H/T – BJPenn.com)
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