Kamaru Usman may want to fight Conor McGregor. McGregor may want to fight Usman. That is not the fight that UFC president Dana White has any intent on making right now.
White is often willing to make fights that don’t necessarily make sense when it comes to the UFC rankings, but it appears he wants Usman to defend the UFC welterweight championship against a top contender.
The fight expected for Usman has long been a defense against Jorge Masvidal. The UFC has had difficulty getting the two in the cage. In the meantime, Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz for the one-time-only Baddest Motherf—er belt, and Usman defended the welterweight title against Colby Covington.
Jorge Masvidal wants Nate Diaz rematch
Still unable to come to terms on the fight, Masvidal recently shifted his attention to a potential rematch with Diaz, even though he won the first fight. For his part, Masvidal told ESPN that it has been Usman that hasn’t come to an agreement with the UFC on their bout. Masvidal believes the fight will still happen, but isn’t waiting on Usman. He’s trying to drive the narrative.
“I’m gonna dictate when it’s gonna happen and not him,” Masvidal said.
When Masvidal pivoted, so did Usman. The champion and his manager said that if Masvidal was interested in running it back with Diaz, they would ask the UFC to offer Conor McGregor the welterweight title shot.
Who does Dana White want for Usman if not McGregor?
That would certainly be a big draw for Usman, but it apparently isn’t a fight that interests White all that much. He insists that Usman is going to fight one of the top contenders in his next defense.
“Listen, the next title fight for Usman is going to be one of these guys: it’s gonna be Colby (Covington), Masvidal, (Leon) Edwards,” White told ESPN on Wednesday. “It’s going to be one of those guys. It’s not gonna be Conor McGregor.”
Asked about his interest in Masvidal running back the BMF fight with Diaz, White indicated he would rather see Masvidal in a fight with Usman for the actual welterweight belt.
“I would rather see the UFC title be defended than the BMF title. Anything is possible, but those are the fights that make sense right now.”
Former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley headlines UFC on ESPN 9 opposite rising contender Gilbert Burns on Saturday. The winner of that fight might also be able to interject himself into the race for a shot at Usman.
Kamaru Usman: ‘How is Masvidal the No. 1 contender?’
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