If Nate Diaz is able to get past Leon Edwards, he will likely set himself up for a shot at the welterweight title. However Kamaru Usman says that if he is still champ, Nate will avoid fighting him.
Over the last several months, Usman has been steadily winning over the fanbase with his continued dominance over the 170lb division. He has beaten everyone he has faced in the UFC, and is now working on what he describes as lapping the division.
The first stop on these endeavors is a rematch with Jorge Masvidal. The two faced off on short notice last year, and even though Jorge has not fought since then, Kamaru has decided to give him the chance to fight for the title with a full camp.
Why Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal Didn’t Do TUF
Initially there were rumors that Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal were going to be the coaches for the comeback of The Ultimate Fighter. However in the end, the fight was booked to headline UFC 261, much sooner than TUF could have been filmed and aired.
Speaking in a recent interview, Kamaru explained that this was his decision, not the UFC’s. He said that they were in the process of making things official for the reality show, but he realized that he was good to fight sooner, so asked the UFC to just book the fight instead.
“The opportunity was presented and initially I was excited about it because that talk was literally the day after my fight (with Gilbert Burns). I sat with Dana and talked about it,” Usman said.
“I got home and I was on the couch that one day and I wanted to work out. I felt incomplete. So I think I got back on Tuesday, and that Thursday I texted George, my Jiu-Jitsu coach, and told him I wanted to roll…
“So I went in, had a workout with him, I was feeling good. I went home and I felt like I was towards the end of the cycle of a training camp,” Usman continued.
“Still having that hunger inside of me, I’m like ‘Oh I’m not done. I didn’t really fill that drive that I had for this fight, I didn’t fulfill it. So I called Ali (Abdelaziz) the next week and I said ‘So is the deal done yet for The Ultimate Fighter?’ He said ‘No it’s not done, we’re still negotiating and working on some things but Masvidal’s in and all that.”
Usman went on to explain that he was trying to get on the card where Francis Ngannou won the belt against Stipe Miocic. However when that did not work out, and the UFC could not find a short notice guy for him to fight, he opted to just bypass TUF and fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 instead.
Nate Diaz Doesn’t Want To Fight Him
Just three short weeks after Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal 2, another key welterweight fight takes place. Nate Diaz makes his return to action against number 3 ranked Leon Edwards, in the first ever 5-round co-main event in UFC history.
The winner of this fight is almost certainly next for the title. However Kamaru thinks that if Diaz comes out on top, he will turn down the fight with Usman, because he knows that is a bad stylistic matchup.
“I don’t shy away from any challenge, I’ll take on anybody. But according to him, I think that’s the second case to where a fighter flat out says ‘You know what, I don’t even want a title shot. I’m good,'” Usman said.
“I offered it to Conor (McGregor) when Conor was running his mouth saying that a third belt looked great to him and this and that. I said ‘Yo I’m here, I’m available, what date do you want to do it?’ and he quiet, he didn’t respond.
“So that’s the first case where a guy was like ‘You know what, I don’t want any of those problems, I don’t want to do it,’ and this will probably be the second case if (Diaz) was able to get that win. Yeah, I definitely think that he would be turning down that title shot.”
Do you think Nate Diaz would turn down a fight with Kamaru Usman if he beats Leon Edwards at UFC 262?