On Wednesday, the UFC released an extended promo video for Saturday’s rematch, which headlines a trio of world championship bouts at UFC 261.
The video explores the first meeting between Usman and Masvidal at UFC 251 this past July, a fight that came together on less than a week’s notice following a positive COVID-19 test to originally scheduled title challenger Gilbert Burns.
Masvidal cut nearly 30 pounds in that timeframe, along with traveling across the globe to Abu Dhabi—which Usman had to do as well. In the end, Usman retained his title with a one-sided unanimous decision, sweeping two of the judges’ scorecards. Despite getting his hand raised, it wasn’t a performance by Usman that gained him a lot of fans.
The theme of the promotional video is both fighters have had ample time to prepare for one another and we should expect Usman and Masvidal at their best, with no excuses to be made in the aftermath.
UFC 261 will take place at the sold out VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. in front of around 17,000 people. It will be the first event for the promotion since UFC 248 in March 2020 where the UFC will fill an arena due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the 170-pound title fight between Usman and Masvidal, Zhang Weili will defend her strawweight title against Rose Namajunas, while Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight title on the line against Jessica Andrade.