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Kamaru Usman Defies the UFC 251 Abu Dhabi Screwjob

The combat sports entertainment industry is among the most crooked enterprises in the world, likely resting comfortably just below the various political systems of the globe susceptible to lobbying interests, bribery and fraud. It’s a world where money is the name of the game, everybody is in it for themselves and people won’t think twice about lying to you in order to advance their own agenda and cause. And good luck finding a righteous man, the countless amount of combat sport reporters and media outlets on the take mean the truth is regularly suppressed regardless of the overt nature of the corruption itself. There is a revolving door of athletes to exploit, so those smart enough to recognize that they're being taken advantage of are quickly marginalized in order to make room for the next sucker and fool. It's an endless cycle of rock'em, sock'em robots who are used until their software crashes and their bodies break down; where they are then ceremoniously tossed to the side as the next generation model is rolled out and slated for the same fate in the end.

Although we’re just a small combat sports media outlet, the MMA Press Room has managed to have a big impact on several high profile discussions in the mixed martial arts community to include the controversy surrounding Conor McGregor’s fights, the Mt. Rushmore of MMA discussions and now The UFC 251 Abu Dhabi Screwjob. With my own Spidey-senses telling me that there were some shenanigans about with the late, last second opponent substitution of Jorge Masvidal over the surging welterweight prospect Gilbert Burns, it’s interesting to note that according to a July 7, 2020 YouTube video from Bad Guy Inc. titled, “Is Jorge Masvidal Ready for a 5 Round Title Fight?,” where the former UFC middleweight championship title contender Chael Sonnen asked, “How many more buys is the UFC going to do this weekend because of the change of the main event? Now I bring you this question because I just had this conversation with Ariel Helwani and Ariel is like, ‘Oh Chael, 400,000 is what I predict,’” explained Sonnen.

“It’s more of the phenomena and theme that I want to speak to you about,” Sonnen continued. “Where Ariel is saying, ‘I think we can bring in 400,000 more extra more buys,’ and the reason that is relevant is because two days ago before this fight was announced, Masvidal vs Usman, there was talk out there that this was the most loaded UFC card of all-time,” Sonnen explained.

“Now, I would push back on that, we don’t need to digress about whether that is accurate or not. I would still feel that UFC 100 would have it beaten. But when you do have three championship fights, when you have a main card that is completely loaded with stars, you see where that dialogue starts to be a very real thing. But I bring that to you because today, there was one fight to see.  And I think that is the larger point that Ariel was trying to make, because of the change and addition to Masvidal this is all the excitement,” elaborated Sonnen.

Which speaks to the larger point that we’re trying to make here, that the blockbuster matchup between Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman has always been the fight to make and it was only made possible because of a Gilbert Burns’ surprise last minute COVID-19 positive test result. If we were to take this information at face value, it would mean the UFC was thrown a curve ball at Murphy’s law stadium and was left with no other choice than to scramble in order to find a suitable last second replacement.

“And the UFC seems to every time they slip on a banana peel, come up looking better on the other side,” Sonnen went on to note, seemingly in awe of the UFC’s amazing ability to fall off the map, yet still manage to find a way to land on their feet running.  “I mean this is a more attractive fight than what was originally scheduled. This was the fight that was, by the way, scheduled,” Sonnen explained in contradiction to the vast majority of MMA media reports that would have you believe Masvidal accepted the fight against Usman on short notice when in fact this fight had been in the works for literally months in advance. So, there is a significant chance that Masvidal has been in training camp all along to prepare for Usman who has been left holding the shortest straw in this saga ever since.

“There is also a taking point going around that Jorge Masvidal will not be in shape for this fight," Sonnen continued. "Now, I can’t contend for you that I’ve been in the practice room with Jorge and I’ve seen what he’s been doing. Quite frankly, I’ve tried to be in contact with him and he’s blown me off a little bit. Jorge hasn’t been crazy with my stance of, ‘Hey Jorge, just go in there and take the opportunity.’ But if you set that aside and we do look at the timeline that we know to be true for Jorge Masvidal, when Jorge Masvidal was supposed to fight Kamaru Usman for the first time, guess when that fight was supposed to be? This Saturday! That was the deal. That’s what they agreed too. That fight only fell apart four to five weeks ago. So, Jorge Masvidal did believe that he was fighting Kamaru Usman on the 2nd Saturday in July for all of summer,” Sonnen explained.

“As a matter of fact,” Sonnen went on to continue, “You can even date that back to February and you will recall them going to radio row at the super bowl, on the week of the super bowl, and having that face off that was caught organically where they were brought face to face and they had the shouting match back and forth. So, they had known about this fight for a meaningful amount of time, they’ve known the date that holds up to be same and true as it is today including the unified rules, including the opponent, including the weight class, including the fact its going to be 5-rounds and for the world championship. They did know about it. There was a break thrown in there about 30-days ago, but Masvidal said and I got to take him at his word, that he was training, that he knew something was coming and he wanted to be ready for when that something came up,” explained Sonnen in striking at the truth of the matter.

And that "something" was a cloak-and-dagger plan hatched by the promotion to violently remove the welterweight title off of the champion Kamaru Usman’s hands one way or another with a bait and switch tactic designed to give the ultra-popular Jorge Masvidal the best opportunity possible to come prepared to face the relatively unprepared Kamaru Usman.

In attesting to what kind of shape Jorge Masvidal might have potentially been in, according to the ESPN MMA analyst Sonnen, “Masvidal said that his first ever coach, who is still his coach to this day, and that when he bought new a home he moved this coach in with him and they train at all hours of the day, every day and that’s in addition to him going to American Top Team and getting his rounds in there. So, I do believe that when you’re the kind of disciplined athlete that Jorge Masvidal is, the fact that he was 20-pounds overweight, I know that isn’t going to make for a comfortable week. But Jorge Masvidal traditionally walks around about 190 to 195, the fact he’s 192 puts him right in the middle of his normal walking around weight does represent to me that he is in a level amount of conditioning and good shape."

Explaining that he received a text message seemingly out of the blue recently from Masvidal’s manager Malki Kawa asking if he wanted to speak with the UFC welterweight championship contender, according to his July 8, 2020 Bad Guy Inc. YouTube video titled, “Jorge Masvidal: Usman, Diaz, Askren, Contract Negotiation + Pizza,” the future UFC Hall of Famer sat down with Masvidal for a one on one interview to set the record straight about a number of things to include his training camp for this fight and his managements efforts to reach a new deal with the promotion.

“So, you got some drama with Mike Brown. He tested positive for the COVID-19, so he’s out of your corner. Is he there, is he self-quarantining on that Fight Island or did this happen back in Vegas,” Sonnen asked Masvidal over the video teleconference call.

“This happened back in Vegas,” Masvidal explained. “We were already separated at the time when we got the results and I haven’t seen him since. I took off, I didn’t get to see him. Obviously, he has the corona and I can’t get next to him. But um, I think he’s asymptomatic. I’ve been talking to him every day, he has nothing wrong with him and I’m so happy and thankful to god that he might have corona, but he has no symptoms what so ever," explained Masvidal. “So, I don’t even think he has a cold or cough or nothing. So, it’s amazing.”

Amazing indeed, especially considering it wasn’t long at all after news of Gilbert Burns’ own positive COVID-19 test that Burns himself was on Twitter social media attemptng to get rough and rowdy with fellow UFC welterweight star Nate Diaz. And interestingly enough, Gilbert’s own brother Herbert has taken to social media himself to assure everybody that he was doing just fine and never tested positive for COVID-19 to begin with. When this information is supplemented with the fact the Burns brothers were training partners with the champion Kamaru Usman until just very recently, the fact that both Usman and Masvidal remain on the card despite both of their close associates having tested positive for COVID-19 makes UFC 251 an interesting case study for more reasons than one. How did both Masvidal and Usman remain COVID-19 free despite having been in relatively close contact with alleged COVID-19 positive training partners and coaches?

In the midst of a global pandemic that has resulted in authoritarian lockdown measures being instituted across the globe based upon frightening information attesting to the contagiousness level of COVID-19, some significant anomalies are occurring amongst the UFC’s professional fighting population. Including the case of “Jacare” Souza at UFC 249, who infamously tested positive for COVID-19 and was later seen mingling amongst other fighters and friends behind the scenes for the events proceedings has not resulted in an outbreak of COVID-19 among the UFC's constituency despite the fear mongering of false prophets who believed otherwise. And considering there was a significant call to admonish the UFC for pushing through the global pandemic by the majority of the mainstream combat sports media, all indications are that this incident has been blown wildly out of proportion by a left-wing MMA media who will do anything for clicks and social media recognition.

“Alright, so, listen,” Sonnen continued. “You’re going to take on Usman. You’re a champ yourself, but you’re going to fight for his championship. Yours is not on the line. That’s the stage that is set. The odds makers have it a 3:1 underdog, largely because you didn’t have enough notice for the fight. And you said, and I quote, ‘I don’t need a training camp for a bum fight.’ Do the odds makers have this wrong? Do you know something that they don’t?” Sonnen asked Masvidal.

“No, no they got it exactly right,” Masvidal responded. “It should be like 5:1 if you ask me. I love the odds, keep it that way please.

“The real talk on this fight, is listen; there is no way that Masvidal can be ready,” Sonnen went on to explain. “And I’ve even had to correct a couple of people; hold on just a second now. First off, this is what Masvidal does. Masvidal just goes and takes fights. Masvidal has not been any less than a 2:1 underdog going into any of his fights at 170-pounds. And this is kind of what he does, he goes and takes crazy fights on short notice," explained Sonnen in going on to make his ultimate point.

“And by the way,” Sonnen continued. “At one point in his life he did expect to fight Usman on this same date at fight island wherever that was. That got interrupted for about 30-days. So, let me ask you this. In that 30-days where it looked like Gilbert Burns was taking your spot, were you still in the gym?”

“No,” Masvidal replied. “It was about five weeks, I think. When we, they, when we knew, it wasn’t when like the media might have known. But when we knew, it was like around five weeks. I wasn’t in the gym as much; I was in the gym three to four times a week,” explained Masvidal.

“I got, every time I went to the gym I got in a good session. I live about two hours away from American Top Team so, if I’m going, I’m going for a good work out man. I’m not just going to high five people. Thank goodness I have a couple buddies of mine getting ready for fights. So, I was trying to help them out," Masvidal went on to explain.

“But I wasn’t in the gym every day. So, I wasn’t trying to burn myself out. You know I didn’t have an opponent; I didn’t have a date. So, I was training about three times a day, three times a week at the gym and the rest I was doing general conditioning,” replied Masvidal in laying out his training regimen.

“Whether it was running, swimming, playing spike ball, lifting weights, things like that. Because I’ve been on the mat my whole life. I just didn’t want to be on the mat everyday with no opponent in particular and then when I get a fight, I’m little burnt out. So, I wanted to have that hunger in me and not be in the gym always,” Masvidal told Sonnen. “But I feel great man. I’m in good shape.”

In another video interview with the welterweight championship title contender, Masvidal went on to tell one reporter that, “I’m going to be fighting this year, but what’s not going to happen is I’m not getting played or underpaid.”

According to Masvidal, “I have a value, a formulative value that we’ve come up with of what I’m worth and that comes off 16-years of doing this. Of seeing the field in and out. I’m not some rookie challenging for the title for the first time in my life. I’ve been in this position before in different organizations and stuff and we know how to calculate what I bring in. And I want a fair share of what I bring in. For those who “know it all” online and stuff asking why would I ask more or less on this fight. It’s not about that, it’s about how much I want to receive from the pay-per-view. How much of a share I want from the pay-per-view. That’s one of the main things that I’m fighting about, I don’t feel that that cut is fair and I don’t agree with it."

And with news of Masvidal having just recently come to new terms with the UFC in order to make the championship fight with Kamaru Usman final, it sounds like the only one getting played in this scenario is the champion Kamaru Usman himself who thought he was fighting Gilbert Burns up until a week ago as Jorge Masvidal was busy training hard in the gym this entire time for welterweight title contention. All of this made possible by a surprise COVID-19 positive test result from Burns who lost out on a well-earned title shot as his brother Herbert consistently takes to Twitter social media to show us his negative COVID-19 tests results. Which is a curious anomaly indeed, considering how contagious we’ve been told the coronavirus is; warranting the entire shut down of the entire sport according to many MMA reporters and outlets despite an abundance of evidence to suggest otherwise. Including Herbert Burns, Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal and “Jacare” Souza’s peers at UFC 249 apparently remaining COVID-19 free.

With the news of Usman being under the impression that the media was too focused on Masvidal, the writing is on the wall for the champion as the UFC would quite obviously like to displace him in favor of the more fan friendly Jorge Masvidal. And considering the performance Usman put on at UFC 251 Saturday night, fighting a smart but relatively excitement free fight it’s not hard to see why the promotion may be pulling as many strings as possible in order to unseat Usman and place a more popular fighter atop of the thrown. In a cut throat industry where lying, backstabbing and corruption are endemic to the sport itself, the various mainstream combat sports media outlets on the take are already busy pushing the short notice theory as an excuse as to why Masvidal lost as the champion Kamaru Usman isn't given his due diligence for foiling the UFC 251 Abu Dhabi screwjob.