Jorge Masvidal has a nuanced take on why Usman failed to win back his title at UFC 286

Jorge Masvidal is one of the top  UFC stars thanks to that infamous Flying knee KO of Ben Askren. He’s been a main stay in the promotion and only broke out at the tail end of his career.

Masvidal is currently readying to face Gilbert Burns at UFC 287 in a long awaited return. He’s been on an extended break thanks to the myriad of legal issues he’s had stemming from the incident with Colby Covington outside of a Miami steakhouse.

In a recent interview with The Joe Rogan MMA Show, Masvidal shared his thoughts on Usman’s performance at UFC 286 and pinpointed where it possibly all went wrong for Usman.

“A little lackluster, you know, Usman maybe like there were times where I didn’t see him stepping on the gas like he usually does, you know, it might have been because he just took this too early,” he said.

“I got this from like the old timers in boxing, you need to really let your brain and your confidence heal and come back, you know, because then you get back in and you get touched and you’re like, Whoa, I might get knocked out and you pull the brakes and you start maybe second guessing yourself. So I think maybe he took it a little bit too early.”

Masvidal knows a thing or two about getting knocked out, he was knocked out by Usman in 2021 and took a year off to come back. This is likely smart because the science of brain trauma supports it. This is also something Tai Tuivasa likely should’ve listened too. Tuivasa was kncoked out on September 3rd by Cyril Gane. And instead of respecting the medical suspension, he took on Sergei Pavlovic in December and promptly got KO-ed again.

Masvidal’s comments were not without merit. Usman’s previous against Edwards at UFC 278 was the first knockout of his professional career, and he was dealing with a hand injury during his camp for the rematch.

Even his friend Francis Ngannou revealed that Usman’s training was affected by the injury. Questions were raised before about Usman’s ability to compete on the desired date.

Meanwhile Khabib Nurmagomedov offered an alternative explanation and explained he believes Usman aged out and reiterated that there are not wo peaks in MMA – once you’re past you’re prime you have no chance to stay on top.

Masvidal competes on April 8th. He’s coming off of 3 losses. Meanwhile Gilbert Burns is 2-2 in his last 4. Having lost to Chimaev and Usman and won over Thompson and Magny.