UFC 251: Who Is Taking The Bigger Risk

Who is taking the bigger risk? The question asked when a fighter agrees on short notice to fight. Some times its a valid question, but this weekend, with Usman vs Masvidal, it’s a dumb one.

For those that missed the back story, Kamaru Usman was slated to defend his belt against Gilbert Burns this weekend on Fight Island. Burns ended up failing his COVID test, so Jorge Masvidal stepped up to fight Usman on six days’ notice. I gotta say I love dudes like Masvidal. They are about it. It doesn’t matter the time, place, or fighter, they want to bet on themselves and fight. That will always be a badass move. Given this deal was signed on short notice though, the question is asked by may, who is taking the bigger risk?

Usman is one of my favorite fighters in the game right now. I said a while ago on Trophy Kids Podcast that Usman has the potential to become the most dominant UFC fighter we have ever seen. He has ascended to the top of the Welterweight division by dominating guys like the great Tyron Woodley and shutting up Colby Covington. He possesses the skills and mentality in the cage, it takes to stay on top in a weight class filled with killers.

One of those killers is without a doubt Jorge Masvidal. Ever since he went through what he refers to as his resurrection, he has been knocking fools into the shadow realm.  He has no fear in the cage and makes sure the fight is always moving towards an explosive end point.  Taking this fight though, possesses almost no risk to his career path.

At the end of the day, to be considered a great fighter you have to be willing to bet on yourself and fight the best fighters no matter how the opportunity presents itself. Masvidal is about to do that but given the fact he has put together a string of awesome fights recently, this fight is a no-lose fight. While maybe no-lose outside of some terrible injury.

The worst-case scenario, he loses. Even that is a win for him because he will have just rolled with the best in the division and will easily get a rematch. Any time a rising star like Masvidal takes a fight on short notice they will get the benefit of the doubt because the took the fight on short notice. In that case, he will get a full fight camp, have experienced what Usman can do in the cage, and get another shot. The best case for him, he beats Usman, and then his career skyrockets like few before him. This is truly a win-win.

Usman, on the other hand, has just spent an entire camp putting together a fight strategy for a different fighter that he now has to adjust on the fly to fight Masvidal. If he loses which is a real possibility because as said before Masvidal is a savage, he will not be given the benefit of the doubt. He will most likely have to wait and fight his way back to a title shot. Because of that, Usman has the bigger risk but goddam is he up to the task. The upside for him is just as big because if he wins, it’s yet another big tally in his win column on his road to being the most dominant man in MMA.

This is going to be one hell of a fight.