The history of bickering between the champion and contender is well-documented. During UFC 246 fight week, the duo were a part of the fight-week storyline without even being on the card. Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) and Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 11-4 UFC) were caught in the middle of nonstop chatter about potential 170-pound opponents for returning superstar Conor McGregor.
When speaking to reporters Thursday, Usman was nonchalant in his answers when asked who he wants to face next. While Usman took verbal jabs at Masvidal and McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) the Nigeria-born fighter said who he fights next isn’t up to him. Additionally, Usman questioned Masvidal’s credentials as a contender.
“This is a game to where you need to fight the contenders that are there,” Usman told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “If there’s just an average guy that’s looking into the sport of martial arts and they’re like, ‘Oh, the welterweight champion is going to fight somebody. Who’s that contender?’ They look through the rankings and they want to know who the next-best guy is.”
Monday, Usman seemingly changed his tune in a tweet. The welterweight champ accused the “BMF” titleholder of “doing everything possible to avoid taking” a loss.
Usman suggested “journeyman” Masvidal fight him first and then move on to McGregor. He also indicated UFC president Dana White is on board with the Usman vs. Masvidal matchup. Check out Usman’s tweet below.
For all you real fans out there that know what’s up @GamebredFighter is doing everything possible to avoid taking this L @danawhite has spoken so STFU and take this ass whooping like the journeyman you are and then you can go fight Conor #OnceaBumalwaysaBum
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) January 20, 2020
Despite the callout of his client, Masvidal’s manager Abe Kawa claimed on Twitter Usman is injured. Publicly, Masvidal has remained open-minded to the possibility of Usman matchup or a fight against McGregor — whichever comes his way.
Looks like usman is out indefinitely with another injury. Conor is ready to go. Jorge is ready to go. Interim title for 170?
— Ibrahim Kawa (@Abraham_kawa) January 19, 2020