Both fighters have kept the beef simmering since the short-notice showdown at UFC 251 in July 2020. However, Kamaru Usman is confident he will walk away with a second win over Gamebred on April 24.
In a recent interview with John Morgan of MMA Junkie, The Nigerian Nightmare opened up about his thoughts on Jorge Masvidal's verbal attacks in the lead-up to the impending rematch.
Usman admitted that Masvidal is doing the right thing to generate interest in the fight. However, he also said that Gamebred should tone it down a little as the Welterweight Champion has granted him an immediate rematch despite winning the first fight convincingly.
"He has to say what he needs to say in order to sell the fight. I was told earlier that he called me a coward... That's pretty harsh when the guy is giving you two chances and you made the most money you've ever made in your career... That's kind of tough. You're fighting in a title fight, back-to-back times. To call the guy coward - that seems silly to me," said Kamaru Usman.
Kamaru Usman's remarks are a response to the comments made by Jorge Masvidal in his recent interviews.
Gamebred has received a lot of criticism from the MMA community for criticizing the champion despite having received a title shot on the back of a loss.
He has not fought in UFC since losing to Kamaru Usman, whereas the champ went on to defend his title against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 in February 2021.
Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal both stand to gain a lot from the rematch
While Usman and Masvidal's sympathizers seem to be blaming the other party for favoring the rematch, it is a fight that favors both fighters in many ways. Kamaru Usman has been a dominant force in the Welterweight division.
However, Usman is a lesser-known fighter that stands to make huge financial gains by fighting the bigger pay-per-view star in Jorge Masvidal.
Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns sold an estimated 500 thousand pay-per-view at UFC 258. The Nigerian Nightmare's fight with Jorge Masvidal was the highest selling PPV of 2020 with a 1.3 million buyrate.
A potential second win over Masvidal is a lucrative prospect for the Nigerian nightmare to expand his fan base.
At 36 years of age, Gamebred does not have time on his side to launch himself on another title run. The rematch against Kamaru Usman saves Masvidal crucial time and high-risk low-reward fights against other top contenders in the division.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal 2 will headline the UFC 261 PPV event scheduled to take place on April 24, 2021. The event will be broadcast live from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.