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Having taken the fight on six days' notice with 20 pounds to lose, a below-par Masvidal lost via unanimous decision to Usman, who has now equalled Georges St-Pierre's record of twelve straight victories in the welterweight division.
Despite a promising first round, 'Gamebred' faded in his first ever title opportunity and knew the result (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) was already coming prior to the decision being announced by Bruce Buffer.
After making up with Usman following all the trash talk, Masvidal told 'the Nigerian Nightmare': "I'll get a couple of wins then we'll run it back".
A rematch for Masvidal with a full camp behind him likely won't be right away, however. Dana White has confirmed original challenger Gilbert Burns will still get his shot after testing positive for COVID-19, while Brit Leon Edwards is also in the mix.
While Masvidal wasn't at his best inside the Octagon, Usman praised his fighting spirit and mentality.
"Gamebred is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now and I had to switch gears to prepare for him on six weeks notice," Usman said post-fight after recording a 16th successive victory.
"I had to make a mental switch, I prepared for Gilbert I had a completely different gameplan.
"Gamebred is tough and he showed it out there. I think Jorge is tough. I've always said it. Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that. I'm just levels better."
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