Holy shit - I'm still a bit hesitant to get completely stoked about this (being the hurdles still in the way are completely unpredictable in the COVID Era of fighting), but how could this not MAKE IT MOVE for ya right now?! I mean, could you imagine?! This would be absolutely INCREDIBLE.
As far as the matchup goes: my brain is pretty much telling me that Kamaru Usman is gonna grapplefuck Masvidal to death for five straight rounds, just like he did to Tyron Woodley. His wrestling/cardio is such a deadly combo for any opponent, but particularly, a short-notice opponent. He's even sorta Khabib-like in some ways. At the same time, I could see Masvidal possibly getting Usman a little emotional in there, getting him to stand and trade, chasing a KO, and then BOOM - he catching Kamaru with a BOMB and he's the new UFC Welterweight Champion. Look at what Conor was able to do to Jose Aldo, or even a guy like Eddie Alvarez....or even what just happened to Daniel Cormier in his last fight against Stipe Miocic when he stopped following gameplan. Sometimes that shit happens!
Aside from the intriguing matchup, though, just think of the storylines going in! It'll be viewed as the fight that the UFC didn't want to happen (because they wouldn't pay Masvidal what he wanted), but HAD to make happen! They have to save this first Fight Island card.....and who better to do it than Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal, who's currently on one of the most incredible runs the sport has ever seen?!
I don't think anyone in the sport's history has ever earned the kind of fan support and popularity he has in the past couple years this LATE into their careers. Most earn their support on the come-up like Conor or Ronda, before they've suffered any UFC losses. Jorge has a ton (6 UFC losses, 13 total) but it doesn't matter, cause all of a sudden he started knockin everybody out in tremendous fashion and attracting eyes from all around the world in the process!
So if Masvidal is the dude gangster enough to step in against one of the most feared fighters on the planet - a stylistic nightmare for him, and just about everyone else in the division - on a few days notice, fly across the globe, and take that title off Kamaru - man, I don't even have the words to describe what a moment that'd be. I love Kamaru Usman, too, and he's been nothing but great to Barstool - but there is no denying that a Masvidal win would just be so monumental for the sport and attract so much attention to it.
Imagine hearing the "Gamebred" shit talk in that empty arena?!
Everyone just please say a prayer to the MMA Gods tonight. We need this.
UPDATE: OH BABY!!! IT'S HAPPENING!!! TERMS AGREED TO!!! GAMEBRED IN VEGAS!!! IT'S ON MOTHAFUCKAS!!!
Jorge and Kamaru still have to get over to Abu Dhabi without contracting corona and all that, so don't stop holding your breath - but I think we're gonna see this fight on Saturday. Fingers crossed.