UFC: Usman Wants To Beat Masvidal In His Hometown Of Miami
Not only does Kamaru Usman want to shut up Jorge Masvidal once and for good inside the Octagon, he wants to do it in ‘Gamebred’s’ hometown of Miami. The UFC welterweight champion also says he’s willing to move up in weight to become a two-division champion. But only on one condition.
Usman finished Gilbert Burns in the third round at UFC 258 to defend his title for a third successive time. He previously defended his belt against Colby Covington and then Jorge Masvidal, who he called out for a rematch in his post-fight interview.
There is growing speculation that Usman and Masvidal are favourites to coach the rising generation of fighters on The Ultimate Fighter season 29. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’s’ is a TUF alumnus himself, and his path to the UFC gold reminds him of his friend and former teammate, Rashad Evans.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Usman pointed out the similarities between his and Evans’ UFC careers.
“It’s crazy how similar of a path I’m walking with Rashad Evans,” Usman said. “Rashad winning The Ultimate Fighter – I did that. Rashad being a UFC champion – I did that. Rashad coached The Ultimate Fighter and now I’m in a position to do that. Rashad’s a Hall of Famer. I told him, ‘Hey big bro, I’m coming! I’m trying to get that jacket too.’ So it’s crazy how much of a path. It’s kind of [a question] of do I have a choice to do it, yes or no? For that reason alone it’s almost a yes for me.”
Masvidal In Miami
Masvidal wasn’t scheduled to fight Usman at UFC 251, but accepted to fight him on six days’ notice after Burns pulled out after catching COVID. He went on to lose the fight via unanimous decision, but guarantees that if he gets a full camp, he will take the champion’s head.
Usman is more than willing to offer him a full camp, and promises to finish him the second time around. Should the two rematch, the Nigerian wants to face him in Masvidal’s hometown of Miami.
“I run Miami,” Usman proclaimed. “Miami is mine. He doesn’t run anything in Miami. You don’t run anything in Miami if you’re getting beat up like that. No city wants a loser. Miami is mine. I run Miami. So yes, he gets to leave his house to come fight in my arena in Miami. It’s gonna be a great place to do it. I don’t think they’ve ever had a UFC fight at the AAA Arena, so that would be amazing.”
Usman is also willing to move up to middleweight to fight for a second belt. However, he said that he would only do so if Adesanya decides to vacate the title, because the 33 year old prefers to have two Africans UFC champions rather than one.
“Absolutely,” Usman said. “If Izzy (Israel Adesanya) is willing to move up – well, he’s moving up – but, if he’s willing to give up that 185 [pound] belt and say ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with that division anymore’ then absolutely. I would entertain that thought. But on no account right now would I ever entertain going up to fight with Izzy. That’s just not something that I am interested in. I’ve stated it over and over and over before, I’d rather there be two African’s with belts as opposed to one African with two belts. And you know, after March there’s going to be three Africans with a four belts. So it’s a good time to be an African. Good time.”
While Usman waits for the right time, Adesanya is moving up in weight to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259 on March 6th. Then at UFC 260 on March 27th, Cameroon-born Francis Ngannou will challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title.
Would you like to see Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter?