Stephen Thompson expects Jorge Masvidal to win the rematch with champion Kamaru Usman. The two welterweight stars feature in the main event on April 24, a matchup that “Wonderboy” will certainly have his eye on.
Kamaru wont the first fight last July, sweeping two of the three judges’ scorecards. But Thompson thinks the short-notice factor impacted Masvidal’s performance.
“If you go back and watch the last fight that these guys had, Jorge Masvidal was doing fairly well stuffing the takedowns, keeping the fight standing until he started to get tired late fourth and fifth round, he started to get taken down,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “So, I think with a full training camp, I do believe that Jorge Masvidal will put up a harder and better fight.”
“I’m leaning a little towards Jorge Masvidal for this one.”
Thompson has incentive for Masvidal winning.
“I think it’s just because I really want to see him win the fight. And, you know, I’m kind of biased a little bit, obviously. I kind of gave you my thoughts on that. But I do believe that it can go either way. Like, before, I had Usman winning. Like, he was definitely gonna win. What was it, a two-week training camp, or short notice for Jorge Masvidal? So, I knew Usman had it, because that guy is always in shape, man.”
“But now that (Masvidal’s) got a training camp, and on top of that, he’s faced him before, so he knows what he’s gonna bring to the table. I don’t know, man, it’s hard to kind of put him out. Like, he does some crazy stuff. Like, everybody knew that Ben Askren was gonna beat him, right? And then you saw what he did in the first round. I mean, he pulls stuff out like that out of his hat on the (regular), and you don’t know what’s gonna happen, and it’s scary facing a guy like that.”
While Usman has impressed by using his striking to take out the likes of Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, Thompson still thinks Masvidal brings more of an element of unpredictability.
“I think it’s great for Jorge Masvidal, because he’s faced the guy, he knows what he’s gonna do if he goes out there with the same game plan. And you don’t really see, I mean, I think that’s what you expect from this guy. He’s gonna wanna get him to the ground,” Thompson said. “You don’t see a tremendous amount of improvements from Usman. I know his striking has improved, but you don’t see anything crazy. He doesn’t do anything that surprises you, like spin kicks, or doing anything wow like flying knees like Jorge Masvidal brings to the game. Like, you gotta worry about that. Like, what Jorge Masvidal’s gonna bring to this fight.”