Usman Definitely Wants To Fight Masvidal, Despite Him Not Being Worthy
Kamaru Usman hasn’t been giving much attention to Jorge Masvidal in the last few months, but that’s all changing. ‘Gamebred’ is expected to challenge ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 252.
This despite the fact that Usman believes there are several guys better than Masvidal in the UFC welterweight division. Speaking to TSN‘s Aaron Bronsteter this past weekend during a Dominance MMA event, Kamaru was asked to rank his rivals in terms of difficulty and skill.
“I think it is myself [at the top], absolutely. Then I think it is Colby Covington]. Then you’ve got guys like Leon Edwards and Tyron Woodley. Those guys are there in that close race. Then you know there are killers that are coming up too that I would even put up there. Then you have the guys like Masvidal, the guys who win some lose some and are just there.”
When asked to list them, Usman named eight fighters in total that he believed are better than Masvidal. Not including himself.
“Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley, Leon Edwards, Geoff Neal, Vicente Luque, Abdul Rasak Alhassan, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gilbert Burns.”
However, despite not ranking him very high in the division, speaking to ESPN, Usman said he definitely wants to fight Masvidal.
“I want to, I absolutely want to. Nothing is official. We’ve still gotta work through contractual things. But definitely. I want to. If the people want it, I always want to give the people what they want. They wanted [me to fight] Colby and I gave them Colby.”
Usman is also keeping an eye on the winner of the fight between Leon Edwards and Tyron Woodley at UFC London on March 21st. After losing to Usman, Edwards has won his last eight fights, defeating ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson and Rafael Anjos, in his last three visits to the Octagon.
On the other hand, Woodley, who was one of the most dominant champions in the division’s history, after holding the belt for nearly three years, lost it to Usman at UFC 235, and is now looking to get back in the win column and take the first step to reclaiming the 170lbs title.
In Usman’s eyes, both Edwards and Woodley are more deserving of the next title shot than Masvidal. But the champion understands that Masvidal is the fight the UFC wants to make. And it’s the money fight right now.
“If they did [offer], of course we’d sign that. That’s the fight that they want. Certain things have to work out contractually, but we want that fight. But I also believe in what’s fair. And when a guy like Leon Edwards has been working his ass off to get here, it’s only fair that that guy deserves a shot. If Woodley goes out there and knocks out Leon Edwards in impressive fashion, how do you deny him a rematch? I want what’s fair, but at the same time I’m trying to get this money, too.”
Nonetheless, Usman still questions Masvidal’s status as the number one contender.
“Of course I want to fight Masvidal, there’s a lot of hype on him. I want to get paid, too. … How is he the number one contender? Because of hype? Exactly. You can’t tell me he’s beaten the top guys in the top five to prove he’s the number one contender.”
While Usman vs Masvidal hasn’t been confirmed yet, UFC president Dana White has stated that it is in the works for UFC 252, which goes down in Las Vegas on July 11th.
Usman is coming off his first title defence against Colby Covington at UFC 245. Which extended his winning streak to eleven, going back to 2013. While Masvidal is coming off a stellar 2019, where he scored spectacular wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and then Nate Diaz for the BMF title.
Do you think Jorge Masvidal deserves to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title next?