Jorge Masvisdal is stepping in for UFC: Fight Island in Abu Dhabi
It’s going to end violent, warns Jorge Masvisdal who has stepped in as last-minute replacement for Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for COVID-19. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Having come in as an 11th-hour replacement opponent to take on Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on Saturday, Jorge Masvidal wasted no time to advertise his dark intentions and says that he will decapitate and baptize the ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’

With 48 professional MMA bouts behind him in his 17-year MMA career, Masvidal has had to wait long for a UFC title shot and in the process set the record for the most number of non-title fights.

But the time has come and Masvidal, who replaces Brazilian Gilbert Burns as the headline act at Abu Dhabi’s “Fight Island” extravaganza, is not intending to let the opportunity go and announce himself as the UFC’s new welterweight champion,


“I’m going to baptize him for the world to see. Cold blooded as can be. It’s going to be violent. It’s going to start violent. It’s going to end violent,” Masvidal, who is of Cuban and Pervian descent, told MMA Fighting. “His body will be [gasping] for air as I get my hand raised over him.”

Masvidal’s head coach at American Top Team, Mike Brown told MMA Fighting the American that the American had been working with top wrestlers including three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal as well as helping Dustin Poirier prepare for his recent fight against Dan Hooker

Although he will enter the Octagon at YAS island as the clear favourite, Usman hinted that he is not going to take the fight lightly given the fact that Masvidal is on a three-fight winning streak having posted devastating knockouts against Darren Till and Ben Askren added to his dominant victory over Nate Diaz. Brushing aside his opponent’s brash talk, Usman responded: “I’m definitely not Ben Askren. It’s a difference in opponents. I’m smarter than doing something that silly and being put in that situation.

The 'UFC Fight Island' looks all primed up for the four fight nights between July 11 and 26. Image Credit: Supplied picture

“I’m definitely not Ben Askren and he’s going to have to figure that out the hard way,” Usman told TMZ.

Since joining the UFC on December 19, 2015 after winning The Ultimate Fighter reality show, Usman has overwhelmed all 10 opponents he’s faced including Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington last year.

“The fight will go a specific way and that’s the way I want it to go,” Usman said of Saturday’s bout. “I’m dominant from start to finish in each and every one of my fights.

“I say that and even in that last [Colby] Covington fight, yes I took some licks but I was still dominant in every way. I controlled the fight until I put him out.”

Admittedly, Usman’s striking is not as good as Masvidal’s but he is economic and accurate and his power lies in his grappling, much like Khabib Nurmagomedov’s. He is powerful and will be looking to take the fight to the ground from where he will most certainly control the action.

On his part, Masvidal will be looking to get an early finish with his superior striking and aggressiveness.

But will Usman, who is a relentless grappler, beat him to the punch?

Let’s wait and see!