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UFC 287’s Jorge Masvidal opens up on Kamaru Usman knockout loss: ‘It affected me ... bad’

“Gamebred” may have physically healed up from the effects of getting knocked out by “Nigerian Nightmare” in April 2021, but the moment still bothers him mentally.

UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2 Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Jorge Masvidal had quite the career resurgence in 2019, going undefeated (3-0) against Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz. In the process, “Gamebred” became one of UFC’s biggest stars in the process. Then, he ran into a brick wall named Kamaru Usman, who handed him two Welterweight title losses in a row.

The second loss was especially rough, with Usman knocking out Masvidal cold in one of the nastiest knockouts of the year. In a new episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, “Gamebred” opened up on the effects of that loss and how he dug himself out of the mental hole it left him in.

“I took off eight to nine months, maybe even longer,” Masvidal said. “It was the first KO of my career, you know. They wanted to make sure my mind was right.

“I still haven’t got over it, brother,” he continued. “I still want to f—ing rip Usman’s f—ing brains out. Nothing personal, I still want to get back in there and do it to him. I’ve never been knocked out, and I’ve fought a lot. I’ve fought great strikers and they never even came close to knocking me out.

“Usman is a great fighter — he can do a lot of things well,” Masvidal added. “But, after fighting him the first time and getting his best shots in, I took the fight on six days notice. I think it was nine months since the first fight that he gained that kind of power. That was nuts to me. It was like unreal, unnatural.”

After a five round grind-out against Usman at UFC 251, Masvidal entered the cage at UFC 261 seemingly contemptuous of his opponent’s striking. There were several moments where he dropped his hands to his waist — and while the knockout didn’t happen when he was stunting on “The Nigerian Nightmare” — it had fans suggesting he didn’t respect Usman’s abilities.

And it seems he still doesn’t.

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“I always respect anybody who has two hands and two feet,” Masvidal said, before adding “He definitely got me by surprise.

“I’m not gonna lie, I went into like a dark place for a while because, like I said, I had never been knocked out, it was just f—ing nuts to me,” he continued. “It wasn’t like a you stopped it early. I knew in my heart of hearts that this guy knocked me out, and for me to think Usman is the one to knock me out, I never would’ve bet that this guy would’ve knocked me out. It affected me, bro, bad.”

Masvidal turned to videos of former professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson, to help him get out of the mental rut the loss caused him. It’s his hope he’ll be able to lock up a win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 287 in Miami, Fla., April 8, 2023, and then see Peterson live the day after.

“I just listen to Jordan Peterson on YouTube,” he said. “That’s my dude right there for many many years. I haven’t gotten a chance [to meet him]. By coincidence, he’s in Florida on April 9. I’m doing everything in my power to make sure I’m there like right after my fight. I’m gonna go, he’s gonna have a conference… I gotta go. I just wanna sit in the crowd and listen to this dude.”

UFC 287 goes down inside Miami-Dade Arena in South Florida. Also on the pay-per-view (PPV) card: the highly-anticipated second mixed martial arts (MMA) fight between Middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, and Israel Adesanya.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 287 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 287: “Pereira vs. Adesanya 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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