Masvidal FaceTimed Covid-19-infected coach during UFC 251 Usman loss

You can call on me! Jorge Masvidal FaceTimed coach during UFC 251 defeat by Kamaru Usman after trainer was unable to be in his corner due to contracting coronavirus

  • Jorge Masvidal lost to Kamaru Usman by unanimous decision at UFC 251
  • Masvidal fought without his coach in the corner after he contracted coronavirus
  • His trainer Mike Brown was unable to attend so FaceTimed him during rounds

Jorge Masvidal had a less than ideal preparation for his fight with Kamaru Usman at the weekend, including being without his coach, but that didn’t stop him trying to find novel ways to tackle the situation.

The ‘Gamebred’ fighter fought the Nigerian on just six days notice at UFC 251 after Usman’s original rival Gilbert Burns was forced to withdraw due to contracting coronavirus.

Masvidal shed 20 pounds in that time-frame but was ultimately defeated by a unanimous decision following five rounds on Saturday.

Jorge Masvidal (centre right) had to FaceTime his coach Mike Brown (centre left) during his bout with Kamaru Usman on Saturday after he contracted coronavirus and couldn’t attend

Masvidal fought on six days’ notice but lost the fight by unanimous decision on Saturday

To compound matters though, the 35-year-old fought in the Octagon without his coach after he too caught Covid-19.

Masvidal’s long-serving American Top Team trainer Mike Brown and fellow ATT cornerman Gabriel de Oliveira were found positive with coronavirus and were forced to stay home.

However, Brown tried his best to assist Masvidal during the fight by speaking with him on FaceTime in between rounds.

Normally this would be an issue due to the thousands of fans attending the arena, but due to the current pandemic UFC 251 was held behind closed doors on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Masvidal was gracious in defeat but wasted no time in demanding a rematch as he shook hands with Usman after his loss at UFC 251 on Saturday night.

Masvidal asked for a rematch as he shook hands with Usman after his defeat in Abu Dhabi

As they waited for the judges scores, Masvidal told Usman: ‘We’re gonna run it back.’ 

Usman had ground out a decision victory over Masvidal to keep his belt, winning via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46).  

Usman used his superior wrestling and clinch work to wear down the challenger over five rounds.

The 33-year-old ripped vicious hooks to the body against the cage and smothered Masvidal on the ground, sapping the challenger’s energy en route to a convincing win. 

Gamebred stepped in to fight Usman on six days’ notice at UFC 251 but came up short

‘Let me get a couple wins and we’ll run it back,’ Masvidal told Usman as Bruce Buffer delivered the judges’ scores. 

‘Gamebred is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now, so I had to switch gears preparing for him on six days’ notice. All these guys are preparing for one guy and that’s me, at the top of the mountain,’ Usman said.

‘I trained for Gilbert, I had a different game plan. Gamebred is tough, he landed some elbows from the bottom and he didn’t quit.

‘I knew Jorge is tough, I’ve always said it minus all the trash talking and all the things going on, Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that. I’m just levels better. I have more tools in the toolbox and when I need to I can pull them out and use them.’




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