It turns out Jorge Masvidal was training for Kamaru Usman the whole time.
Masvidal steps in on six days’ notice when he faces Usman in the new UFC 251 headliner taking place Saturday on Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island.
“Gamebred” is the betting underdog with the whole narrative currently being that he didn’t have a proper training camp, especially with Gilbert Burns originally set to face Usman until he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Poirier: Masvidal Kept Training
That isn’t the case according to Dustin Poirier, who in a recent interview with Teddy Atlas, stated that Masvidal was not only helping him train for his fight with Dan Hooker, but also training with some of the best wrestlers.
“It’s a short notice because he didn’t have the contract signed. But let me tell you what — this guy was there my whole training camp, he was my main sparring partner. We probably put in five weeks of sparring together. He flew in wrestlers, the best wrestlers in the world. I think they put them up, the guys were there just for Masvidal to use. Even when the fight fell through and they gave it to Burns, it was at the end of my training camp, Jorge was still in the gym every day like he had a fight.
“I don’t know if he knew something we didn’t, but the guy was in training camp the whole time and never stopped. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people with the kind of shape he’s in, his timing’s going to be good because he was in my camp the whole time. Helping a few guys, not just me. He’s in fight shape, I know that much. This isn’t a guy who’s coming off the couch. This is a guy who was preparing to fight Usman and the fight fell through and he kept training.”
Dustin Poirier on Jorge Masvidal:
"He's in fight shape, I know that much. This isn't a guy coming off the couch. This is a guy who was preparing to fight Usman and [when] the fight fell through he kept training."
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 8, 2020
As Atlas stated, that comment will certainly affect the betting lines going into the fight.
However, it probably would have been best if Poirier didn’t reveal that, especially if Masvidal does go on to lose. That said, the BMF champion only plans on the fight going one way so it won’t matter to him.