By Olayinka Elebute
Nigeria United States based UFC fighter, Kamaru Usman scored a devastated second-round knockout victory over Jorge Masvidal and retained his undisputed UFC welterweight title at UFC 261 in Florida.
It was the fourth title defence for 33-year-old Usman while Masvidal suffered a first career knockout.
Masvidal, 36, had promised a better showing with a proper training camp under his belt but Usman left no room for doubt about his superiority as he scored a stunning win to retain his crown in front of 15,000 fans in Jacksonville.
The pair engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth battle through round one, with both men enjoying success on the feet, while Usman scored a significant takedown midway through the round.
The bout exploded in round two when Usman connected with a huge straight right hand that sent Masvidal crashing to the canvas for a knockout victory.
Usman’s win improved his record to 19-1 and extended his unbeaten run to 18 fights, including 14 straight victories in the UFC.
“I told everybody, I’m still getting better. The sky’s the limit for me as long as I’m doing this,” he said.
“I know with my fundamentals, I am the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet right now.”
Masvidal was classy in defeat as he reacted to the first knockout loss of his 50-fight MMA career.
“First time in my career, and it’s in front of all my people, my family and my friends, so it hurts,” he said.
“I’ve never been knocked out in 50 pro fights. Usman showed me something that he didn’t show in the first fight. I didn’t feel his power, and that’s what happens when you get overconfident. I thought we were going to wrestle more.
“All the props to him in the world. He caught me by surprise. He’s got my number. There’s nothing I can say. He won this fair and square. God bless him.”