A rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal for the UFC welterweight championship seems close to happening after both fighters' managers have confirmed interest in participating in The Ultimate Fighter's new season.
As is almost always the case, UFC contenders serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter are scheduled by the promotion to fight at the end of the fighting reality show. A bout between coaches happened following 20 of the 28 seasons of the television series.
Kamaru Usman and Masvidal have been intensifying provocations as both fighters' interest in a rematch for the welterweight belt becomes increasingly evident.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto confirmed that Kamaru Usman's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, is already negotiating with the UFC:
"Kamaru Usman's manager Ali Abdelaziz just told me he's already talking to UFC about Usman and Masvidal as TUF coaches. 'It's what Kamaru wants, and Jorge deserves a full camp. But he and his team better be on their best behavior. We already beat them up inside and out of the cage,'" wrote Okamoto on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Masvidal's manager appears to have agreed to the proposition:
"Let's do It. TUF. Masvidal vs. Usman. We accept," answered Malki Kawa.
Kamaru Usman will not be the first UFC superstar to coach aspiring new fighters in The Ultimate Fighter. Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Ronda Rousey, and Jon Jones are a few of the former champions to have coached in previous seasons of the show.
While Masvidal has not yet competed again since the title fight, Kamaru Usman has just completed his third title defense against former teammate Gilbert Burns. "The Nigerian Nightmare" knocked Burns out at the beginning of the third round.
Kamaru Usman wants to give Jorge Masvidal a full training camp before their rematch
Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision in their fight for the UFC belt in 2020. However, Masvidal was replacing original challenger Gilbert Burns and took on the bout a week ahead of the UFC Fight Island event.
After the fight, Masvidal complained that he did not have enough time to train as he should for the bout. Speaking to BT Sport's Adam Catterall, Kamaru Usman said he would like to see how much better his opponent would be if he had the chance to train properly:
"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," said Kamaru Usman.