When it comes to retired athletes, it’s hard to argue any are having more fun right now than Chad Johnson. Well, maybe Pat McAfee. But the man once known as “Ochocinco” is certainly making the most of his post-NFL career too.
A regular on Bleacher Report’s sports betting program, “BR Betting,” Johnson has been all over the headlines ahead of Saturday night’s UFC 261 event. The main event of the loaded card features a highly anticipated rematch between Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Jorge Masvidal.
Johnson posed a question to the challenger, Masvidal. While it surprisingly had nothing to do with his personal betting ventures on the fight, it didn’t take long to get there.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 22, 2021
Donning sunglasses and a mask that seemingly covered his entire face, Johnson inquired of Masvidal how his approach to preparing for this rematch differed from his first fight against Usman. After getting a response about rubbing feet, Johnson dropped the hammer:
“Despite being the underdog, I’m still rocking with you. but I need to hear from your mouth. I need an eye contact. Look right at me. I want you to make sure you tell me. I can bet this money, You’re the lock. You’re the lock. You’re the lock for the fight.”
It didn’t take long for Masvidal to realize who he was talking to after that. After receiving confirmation, he asked his fellow Florida celebrity how he was. The reply that followed could only have come from a man whose last name used to be Ochocinco:
“I’m good. I’m good, man. If I had your hands, I’d cut mine off. But hey, I need to hear from your mouth that you’re the lock, before I put this money on (you) despite being the underdog.”
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Folks, Chad Ochocinco is “good.” But if he had Masvidal’s hands, he’d cut his off. Is this LOL or WTF? I honestly can’t decide?!?!?! To busy busting a gut over here!
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) April 22, 2021
At any rate, Masvidal gave Johnson the vote of confidence he so desperately sought, and all was chill between the two:
“Let’s go, my brother. Man to man, soul to soul, let’s go, man. It’s a smart bet.”
All of that ultimately brought about this spicy encounter between Ochocinco and champ Kamaru Usman later on.
'I'm sorry for what you gonna lose this weekend'
— br_betting (@br_betting) April 22, 2021
Yes, that just happened. Kamaru Usman straight up turned his back, and walked away from Chad Johnson. Guess that’s what happens when a man goes public with his $50,000 bet. I mean, at least he apologized in advance for whatever happens, right?
This whole thing was pure press conference gold. Johnson will be attending UFC 261 in person to cheer on Masvidal and his $50k wager. Indeed, the UFC Welterweight title won’t be the only thing on the line Saturday night.