JACKSONVILLE, 25 April 2021 – Nigerian-born Kamara Usman scored a stunning second-round knockout against Jorge Masvidal and retained his UFC welterweight title.
Usman’s victory came at the UFC 261 title fight before 15,000 fans in the town of Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday.
It was the fourth successive title defense by the 33-year-old Nigerian.
His 36-year-old American rival, Masvidal, faced off with Usman at UFC 251 but lost on points after five rounds.
Round one was fairly balanced, with both fighters exchanging non-threatening blows.
Midway through the first round, Usman pulled off a takedown that many saw as one of the clear signs that the confident Usman had the upper hand in the fight.
Usman claimed victory with a massive straight right-hand punch with one minute, two seconds on the clock in the second round. The blow sent Masvidal crashing to the canvas for the knockout, as Usman followed up with two more blows while Masvidal laid on the canvas, forcing the umpire to pull off the Nigerian.
“I told everybody, I’m still getting better. The sky’s the limit for me as long as I’m doing this,” a jubilant Usman told reporters after the bout.
With his record improving to 19-1 following Sunday’s victory, Usman was lavish with praise on himself.
“I am the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet right now,” said Usman.
His American rival expressed frustration at being knocked out for the first time in his professional career and for suffering that knockout with his family and parents in the area watching.
“I’ve never been knocked out in 50 pro fights,” Masvidal said, blaming himself for feeling too confident based on his previous fight against Usman.
“Usman showed me something that he didn’t show in the first fight,” Masvidal admitted.
“I didn’t feel his power, and that’s what happens when you get overconfident. I thought we were going to wrestle more,” said the American, admitting that Usman won fair and square.
“All the props to him in the world. He caught me by surprise. He’s got my number. There’s nothing I can say. He won this fair and square. God bless him,” said Masvidal.
Usman’s win Sunday was his 14th consecutive win – just two short of establishing a new record.