The last few days brought the fighting community fantastic news and headlines. The first to come, which brought the news of Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masdival, also came with the news that this fight would be the first in a LONG time to be viewed by a live audience. Although still blissfully entertaining in itself, the crowds at UFC fights have played a significant role in creating energy with big strikes and the hype of the big moment. For those who are not well versed in the UFC, this will not be Masdival and Usman’s first matchup. They fought on July 11th, 2020, where Usman absolutely dominated the competition, landing countless leg shots and strikes that built up to a beastly performance. However, Masdival took that fight on SIX days’ notice. SIX DAYS! He was clearly out of shape and could not compete past the first round. Usman defeated Gilbert Burns in February, and took that opportunity to call out Masdival to defend his belt in the Welterweight division.
Although there could have been potential to defend his belt against somebody like Colby Covington, this is a great decision. Again, Masdival took the first fight on six days notice…it almost seems like an illegitimate fight. Many in the UFC community have expressed that they would have rather seen Covington Usman 2, which I also would not complain about, but again, it was six days notice the last time they faced off. In the last fight, Masdival was forced to cut an insane amount of weight in a short short window, meaning his ability in the later rounds was depleted—which is where we saw him get dominated. There is no way of saying who will win this fight, many favor Usman, but Masdival has been rehabbing his body in Colombia and may come back in the best shape of his life. If he can take his explosive striking power into the Championship rounds, this fight can get interesting. We will see at UFC 261.
Over the last few months, there have been talks of a contract between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, but due to some annoying logistics, the signing has been delayed for a while but was completed this week. They have signed to a two fight deal with both fights reportedly taking place in 2021, the first in June/July and the second in November/December. This negotiation comes just days after Tyson Fury claimed he was not training and “drinking 12 pints (of beer) a day”. But to be honest, you really never know with the Gypsy King. He very well could be doing just that, he could be playing mind games, or he could be selling it short and drinking 20. There are currently -4-, yes 4! Belts on the line in this fight! Anthony Joshua currently holds 3, and Fury holds 1. The winner of this fight will be crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, the last person to be recognized with this accolade was British Boxer Lennox Lewis in 2000.
After battling depression and gaining a significant amount of weight in a leave of absence, Tyson Fury returned to defeat the then champion Deontay Wilder in an improbable victory. He returned to a mountain of criticism, displayed superior head movement and agile footwork coupled with animal instinct (he was seen licking Wilder’s blood during the fight), led him to snatch the belt from the WBC champion. I cannot wait to see the Gypsy King hit the ring again this summer.