Jorge Masvidal’s hopes for an immediate rematch with Kamaru Usman has been dealt a blow after reports suggest the Nigerian Nightmare will face a six-month medical suspension from fighting.
Gamebred stepped in as a late replacement to take on the welterweight champion at UFC 251 on Fight Island after Gilbert Burns, Usman’s intended opponent, pulled out having tested positive for coronavirus.
However, the 35-year-old was unable to cap off a fairytale week with a win as Usman dominated the majority of the contest, earning himself a unanimous points victory after putting on a grappling and wrestling clinic.
Bouts with Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor have been mooted as next up for Masvidal, but the fan-favourite has expressed his eagerness to rematch Usman with a full training camp behind him.
However, MMA Fighting reports that Masvidal may have to wait for that opportunity. Earlier reports suggested Usman would face a 180-day medical suspension ‘due to the potential of a broken nose’, but that could be extended to six months.
The 33-year-old has to provide a ‘clean X-ray of his nose’ if he wants to avoid being sidelined for the six month stretch.
There was plenty of animosity between the two rivals in the build up to the historic fight card on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi. But after the bout Usman and Masvidal heaped praise on each other.
Usman said: ‘Gamebred is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now, so I had to switch gears preparing for him on six days’ notice.
‘All these guys are preparing for one guy and that’s me, at the top of the mountain.
‘I trained for Gilbert (Burns), I had a different game plan. Gamebred is tough, he landed some elbows from the bottom and he didn’t quit.
‘I knew Jorge is tough, I’ve always said it minus all the trash talking and all the things going on, Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that.
‘I’m just levels better. I have more tools in the toolbox and when I need to I can pull them out and use them.’