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"Protect yourself at all times" - Kamaru Usman's manager defends his approach against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251

Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman
Deepit Sharma
Modified 22 Mar 2021

As a rematch between Jorge Masvidal and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman edges closer, Dominance MMA CEO Ali Abdelaziz took to Twitter to compare the performances of the two rivals at UFC 251.

In the caption of the tweet, Ali Abdelaziz wrote:

"Protect yourself at all times @USMAN84kg (Kamaru Usman)."

Ali Abdelaziz is the manager of Nigeria-born Kamaru Usman. The scorecard of UFC 251 that Abdelaziz posted shows just how dominant Kamaru Usman was in the fight against Jorge Masvidal.

Gilbert Burns was originally scheduled to challenge 'The Nigerian Nightmare' in his title defense at UFC 251 in July of 2020. However, the bout fell apart just days before the fight as 'Durinho' tested positive for COVID-19.

Yet, in a move that excited fight fans throughout the world, Jorge Masvidal agreed to step in on 6 days' notice to face his rival. Nevertheless, Kamaru Usman put on a spectacular show of control and dominance against Gamebred. He employed superior wrestling, grappling and clinches to keep Jorge Masvidal in check throughout the contest.

The powerful clinches against the cage prevented Jorge Masvidal from gaining any sort of momentum or connecting with shots. Kamaru Usman also used unique strikes, like foot-stomps, which helped him sail to victory on the judges' scorecards.

A fight of this fashion rarely sits well with the fans due to the lack of excitement and explosiveness. But, it is quite apparent from his tweet that Ali Abdelaziz prefers a dominant victory than a loss after an 'exciting' fight. This is exactly what the manager emphasized in his tweet by asking Kamaru Usman to protect himself at all times.


Although 'Gamebred' lost to Usman, his striking remains as vicious and dangerous as ever. The resurgence of his career in the UFC has been nothing short of inspirational and he continues to be one of the greatest threats to Kamaru Usman's throne.

Why did Kamaru Usman call Jorge Masvidal out for a rematch after UFC 251?

Usually, MMA fights end with the winner calling out a fighter that he/she would like to face next in order to progress in the rankings. In the event of a champion winning, the staple answer to being asked who is next is, "Whoever's next in line."

But this was not the case after the main event of UFC 258. Kamaru Usman defended his belt by knocking out Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258 in February. Yet, it was the uncharacteristic post-fight interview from the champion, which drew the attention of the MMA world.


Usman stated in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he did not want Jorge Masvidal to have a built-in excuse (like taking a fight on short notice ) and wanted to rematch Gamebred next.

The two will lock horns once again at UFC 261 on April 24, 2021.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 15:54 IST
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