ATT owner admits he didn’t want Jorge Masvidal to take UFC 251 title fight on short notice

Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal
Image CreditL @ufc on Twitter, photographer not listed

If American Top Team owner, Dan Lambert had his way, Jorge Masvidal wouldn’t have stepped in on short notice to fight Kamaru Usman.

At UFC 251 on Fight Island, Usman was expected to defend his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns. Yet, Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and Masvidal ended up coming to terms to fight the champ on six days’ notice.

When Lambert found out the news, he admits he tried to talk Masvidal out of it.

“I found out Gilbert dropped out because Jorge called me at like 1 o’clock in the morning. He said hey, I’ll take that fight, let’s make some calls. I didn’t want him to [take it]. I tried to talk him out of it,” Lambert said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “That is like less than a week from today in Abu Dhabi, halfway around the world like are you out of your mind?

“He said, no, I’m taking the fight, it’s going to happen. Like alright, I’ll make a call and let them know you want it to happen and tell them to call your guys and start working it on it. I wasn’t a big fan of it happening on that kind of notice,” he continued. “There is a big difference between a guy who is around the gym and a guy in a training camp. But, Jorge Masvidal did pretty damn well.”

When the fight was made Dan Lambert and Jorge Masvidal’s team knew “Gamebred” needed to knock Usman out in the first two rounds in order to win.

Although Usman won four rounds to one, Lambert said he is still impressed by what Masvidal did on six days’ notice. So, he hopes they will rematch and have Masvidal on a full camp.

“I think that is a different fight,” he explained. “I don’t think Usman bullies Masvidal around, I don’t think he takes him down or holds him down very often.”

Since the fight happened, many have wondered what is next for Masvidal. He has options like the Usman and Nate Diaz rematches, the Colby Covington fight, or perhaps taking on Conor McGregor.

So, for Dan Lambert, he hopes Masvidal can get the McGregor fight but he knows Gamebred is set on getting the rematch with Usman.

“Jorge probably has a much better seat at the table now that he has proven himself as a draw. If I had my say, I want him to make as much money as possible. Conor McGregor is the biggest fight in the world for anybody,” he said. “So, if I had my say, that would be his next. If Jorge has his say, he probably wants the rematch. Right now, the belt is more important than money.”

Although Lambert wants to see Jorge Masvidal vs. Conor McGregor, he knows it would be a much bigger fight is Gamebred is the welterweight champion.

“It would be up there, if not the biggest, it would be second to Khabib-Conor. If Jorge was defending the welterweight title against Conor and puts both belts up, that would by far be the biggest fight in UFC history. Jorge is a draw and legit,” he concluded.

What do you think should be next for Jorge Masvidal?