Kamaru Usman has insisted that he would be open to facing Jorge Masvidal a second time for the UFC welterweight championship. They last fought at UFC 251 in July 2020, when the current champion defended his title for the second time.
Kamaru Usman has become the welterweight champion after defeating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. He has since defended the belt twice, against Colby Covington and Masvidal. Gilbert Burns will make the third attempt for Kamaru Usman's title at UFC 258 on February 14.
Speaking to BT Sports' Adam Catterall ahead of the fight with Burns, Kamaru Usman declared that he would be open to the idea of a rematch with Masvidal if needed. The welterweight champion believes there is no real contender with a strong claim for the title shot.
"But right now, I'm literally just focused on Gilbert [Burns] because there's no clear cut guy standing out there that's like, 'Hey, I am the next guy,' there's really not a clear cut guy," said Kamaru Usman.
Usman further added:
"And so, you know, we will see. If it's [Leon] Edwards, then it's Edwards. If it's not, then it's, you know... if it's Masvidal again, he seemed to be running with that excuse. He ran with that excuse, 'Oh, I took the fight on six days notice, I was not training,' you know. I would love to see what he has different with a full camp because I truly believe it will be worse with the full camp. It was better for him just taking that fight to six days' notice, you know. With the full camp, I think it would be way worse for him, so it could be him. You know, you never know."
Edwards was scheduled to fight welterweight rising star Khamzat Chimaev at UFC Fight Night 187. However, the bout was canceled for the third time due to COVID-19-related circumstances.
Kamaru Usman will have to wait to fight UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev has withdrawn from the fight with Leon Edwards for the second time in two months. The Swedish-Russian MMA prodigy retreated from the bout, claiming to not have recovered entirely from his COVID-19 infection.
The fight has now been canceled for the third time. In December 2020, Edwards was removed from the bout after he tested positive for the coronavirus. The match was rescheduled to January 2021, but Chimaev was then struck by the disease. Both fighters had severe cases of COVID-19.
The bout between the two was seen as a title eliminator to fight the winner of welterweight champion Kamaru Usman versus challenger Gilbert Burns.