UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman says that UFC president Dana White wants him to fight superstar Jorge Masvidal for his next title defense.
Ever since Usman defended his welterweight strap against Colby Covington at UFC 245, there has been plenty of speculation about who he would fight next. Masvidal has always been at the top of the list, but Conor McGregor entered the discussion when he knocked out Donald Cerrone at UFC 246. Leon Edwards is also a top contender for the belt.
According to Usman, however, his next title defense is indeed going to come against Masvidal. Speaking to Joe Rogan on his podcast, “The Nigerian Nightmare” confirmed the UFC wants him to fight “Gamebred” next. Here’s what he said (h/t MMAMania.com).
“Give me a month and let this thing heal up. I can make a fist now. I’m cracking. They put out the guys, and let’s be honest, if you look at the division, I’ve beaten almost everybody there in the top 10. It’s a matter of who they really want, what’s next. Dana (White) said they really want Jorge. Jorge is the next guy,” Usman said.
Masvidal always made sense as the next guy in line for the welterweight belt. He’s arguably the hottest fighter in the sport at the moment aside from McGregor, and he’s coming off of three straight impressive wins over Nate Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till. From a merit point-of-view, Masvidal is the perfect No. 1 contender, and a fight against Usman is very intriguing.
Of course, money always plays a role in the UFC’s decisions and McGregor’s win over Cerrone put him in the conversation to get a crack at Usman just based on name value and star power alone. But White wants McGregor to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in a rematch for the UFC lightweight belt next, so Usman vs. Masvidal is perfect for the welterweight belt.
Is the UFC making the right call by giving Kamaru Usman