Kamaru Usman shocked the entire MMA community as he knocked out Jorge Masvidal to retain his UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 261.
Staying true to his fight name, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' packed nightmarish power behind a straight right hand in round two that immediately knocked the lights out of Jorge Masvidal. The move came as the most unexpected, considering every pundit and fight fan expected 'Gamebred' to be the one getting his hand raised if the fight ended in a KO.
In fact, Jorge Masvidal himself had been vocal about how he did not feel that Kamaru Usman had the power to knock people out. This viewpoint emerged following their bout at UFC 251. In that fight, Kamaru Usman employed a strategy of pinning Jorge Masvidal and not allowing the fight to go into a stand-up contest.
Speaking about how his over-confidence in Kamaru Usman's 'weakness' became his downfall tonight, Jorge Masvidal said in the post-fight interview:
"Usman showed me something that he didn't show me in the first fight. I didn't feel his power. And that is what happens when you get over confident, man. I though we were going to wrestle more. I was ready to wrestle for twenty five minutes. All the props to him in the world. He caught me by surprise. He's got my number, man. There is nothing I can say but, he won fair and square. God bless him, man."
Kamaru Usman becomes the first fighter to knock out Jorge Masvidal inside the octagon
Jorge Masvidal received the second knockout loss of his 50-fight long career tonight, his first in the UFC. Masvidal's first TKO loss was early in his career, but it didn't shut his lights out. The sheer power behind the punch thrown by Kamaru Usman cracked a chin that no other fighter in the UFC had been able to. Going through the resume of Jorge Masvidal, one can see just how many killers attempted to knock the lights out of the Miami star: Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Stephen Thompson, Benson Henderson, Al Iaquinta, Darren Till; all those powerful strikers, and Kamaru Usman became the first to knock Jorge Masvidal out.
This performance is a testament to Kamaru Usman's striking, an aspect of his game that he feels is highly underestimated.
Describing how he felt after his first KO loss, Jorge Masvidal told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview,
"... First time in my career, and it's in front of all my people, my family, my friends. So, it hurts. I have never been knocked out in 50 pro fights."