Jorge Masvidal excited but wary of ‘adrenaline dump’ back in front of fans at UFC 261

Jorge Masvidal’s second crack at a UFC title will come with a lot more pressure.

Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 12-7 UFC) rematches welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on April 24 in the main event of UFC 261 at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. Born and raised in Miami, the longtime American Top Team fighter will get an opportunity to avenge his UFC 251 loss to Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC), but this time in front of a sold-out crowd for the first time in more than a year.

“I’m excited to fight, period, but to do it in Florida, my home state, they haven’t had a fight in so long, to be at a live event,” Masvidal said Tuesday during an ESPN+ Q&A hosted by Laura Sanko. “I think the energy there is going to be insane. There’s going to be an adrenaline dump, so I’ve got to be ready to handle that, but I love it. I love to compete. Whether there’s one person watching in a parking lot or millions around the world, I love it. So, I can’t wait.”

Masvidal fell short in his first attempt at UFC gold, dropping a lopsided unanimous decision to Usman on just six days’ notice last July. The pair have since reignited their rivalry, and “Gamebred” isn’t the least bit surprised to see the event sell out in minutes despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I knew it was going to go well just because people have been off it for so long,” Masvidal said. “Then you put a violent individual in there like myself, that they know is going to come give them every penny of their dollar’s worth. I knew it was going to sell out quick.”

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