Kamaru Usman is out for Jorge Masvidal’s blood following his successful title defense at UFC 258.
After battering Gilbert Burns to a third-round TKO in Saturday’s headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Usman made it clear there’s a fight he’s interested in above all others: a rematch with Masvidal.
Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC) earned a dominant unanimous decision win over Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 12-7 UFC) last July at UFC 251, but the fight didn’t meet the expectations of many – including the champion himself – after coming together on just six days’ notice. Usman isn’t satisfied with that and wants a second go with Masvidal to leave no questions.
“He had a built-in excuse,” Usman told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at UFC 258. “That’s the only reason he took that fight. We tried to make that fight twice before; he said no. … He’s been saying no. The only reason he took that fight on ‘Fight Island’ is because there was a built-in excuse. He was training the whole time, but he said, ‘Oh, I only had six days’ notice so that’s why that went that way.’ Well guess what? I’ll give you a whole training camp, and this time I will stop him. I promise you.
“That’s why I was disappointed in myself that last fight, because I know I can stop him. But with all the circumstances that took place, I just went out there and dominated him from start to finish. So this time I will stop him if he wants to step up, but I guaranteed you he doesn’t want to. He’s going to be quiet.”
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Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns shared an emotional embrace after their UFC 258 title fight
There has been ongoing discussions about Masvidal’s next fight coming against former best friend turned heated rival Colby Covington. With Usman’s demand, though, there’s a possibility the promotion switches gears.
UFC president Dana White was noncommittal, however, but made it clear he would at least listen to Usman’s request.
“There’s a lot of options for him right now,” White said. “If that’s the fight he wants, and that’s the fight Masvidal wants, and I’m sure the people would like to see it, too. … I don’t know.”
Usman said he’s ultimately going to knock down any obstacle put in front of him, but it’s obvious that Masvidal is the most appealing to him. If he gets his wish, he promised it would end worse for “Gamebred.”
“I’m going to put him in a coffin this time,” Usman said. “He don’t want that fight. He don’t want that fight. I guarantee he don’t want that fight. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t want it. Have I lied up here yet? Have I lied to you guys yet about anything? Nothing. I said what I wanted to do, and that’s what I’m going to do. We’ll see if it materializes.”