Kamaru Usman Open To Welterweight Title Showdown With Jorge Masvidal
By Ross Markey
Current UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman, has expressed his interest in meeting top contender Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal, after the Miami native secured the BMF championship with a victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 244 recently.
The Henri Hooft trainee headlines UFC 245 on December 14th. against arch-rival Colby Covington, but in a recent sit-down with MMA Fighting, Usman has earmarked a potential future clash with the surging Masvidal.
Usman, who claimed the welterweight crown from Tyron Woodley in dominant fashion earlier this year, faces Covington in his first title defense in the final pay-per-view event of the year, but believes there’s a lot more than meets the eye in Masvidal’s recent stoppages of Ben Askren and Darren Till.
The smothering wrestler has so far been unmatched in the Octagon since his 2015 bow, and ahead of a possible meeting with American Top Team mainstay, Masvidal, Usman remains supremely confident.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Usman gave his thoughts on a meeting with ‘Gamebred’
“I wouldn’t say (I’ve been) impressed,” Usman stated. “Because it’s (Jorge) Masvidal, nothing’s changed. He’s the same guy. He’s fought the same way forever. It’s just the luck of the draw. He’s getting that luck of the draw. Let’s be honest, Darren Till dropped him in the first round of their fight, and let’s say if he didn’t land that punch (knockout), how does the fight play out? Had he not landed that knee (against Ben Askren), and I’m not going to say it’s lucky cause he drilled that, how does that fight play out?
“There’s a lot of questions to be answered. He’s got a lot of hype right now, and he’s been in this sport for a long, long time. But at the end of the day, does it really matter if you have all that hype if you never make it to the pinnacle of the sport? I like the fact that he has all this hype. It brings a lot of eyes. So if he does make it to me and the fight is made, I would be very, very interested in that.”
Usman shares Florida as his home base with Masvidal, but it’s the Nigerian’s opponent Covington, who shares some significant history with ‘Gamebred’.
During the often controversial Covington’s rise to title challenger status, the Californian openly criticized and poked fun at American Top Team teammates Masvidal, former interim lightweight champion Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier and former strawweight queen, Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
With Masvidal’s BMF triumph over Nate Diaz in New York two weeks ago, it seems the Floridian is almost guaranteed to meet the winner of Usman vs. Covington for 170-pound gold in the coming year as his career ressurection continues to take shape.