Following his third-round knockout win over former teammate, Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 on Saturday to retain his welterweight crown, Kamaru Usman immediately called for a rematch with past-foe, Jorge Masvidal.
Despite taking a unanimous decision win over the BMF champion on short-notice at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ in July last, Usman wants to leave Masvidal no excuses as he put it — claiming if he draws the Floridian for a second time in his career he’ll put him in a coffin.
Rallying from some early opening round worry posed by an overhand right from Burns, Usman managed to compose himself — sticking expertly behind a particularly devastating jab when ushered by new head coach, Denver mastermind, Trevor Wittman.
Dropping his former Sanford MMA training partner with an early straight in the third, Usman carved through with a number of damaging ground strikes, eventually ending Burns’ siege with referee Herb Dean waving off the fight.
The victory marked Usman’s third consecutive successful title defence, adding Burns to a hitlist as champion which includes victories over both the above mentioned, Masvidal as well as arch-rival, Colby Covington.
In a record-setting performance, Usman also became the biggest streaking welterweight in promotional history, leapfrogging former two-weight world champion, Georges St-Pierre — notching his thirteenth consecutive victory in the UFC’s 170-pound weight class.
“‘Oh I took the fight on six days’ notice, give me three weeks and see what I’ll do’. I’ll give you a whole training camp,” Usman said in relation to a rematch with Masvidal. “This time I want to stop him for real because I think that’s the only thing that’s going to close his mouth. Pretending walking around like he’s Jesus or something. Well, I’m going to put him in a coffin this time.“
“This time I will stop him, I promise you. That’s why I was disappointed in myself that last fight because I know I can stop him but with all the circumstances (that) took place, I just went out there and dominated him from start to finish. This time I will stop him if he wants to step up.“
Whilst UFC president, Dana White has claimed if both parties along with onlooking fans are interested in a rematch, he would book it, as well as Masvidal’s co-manager, Abraham Kawa suggesting an Ultimate Fighter season between the two — Usman believes Masvidal doesn’t want the re-run.
“He (Jorge Masvidal) don’t want that fight,” Usman said. “I guarantee you he doesn’t want that fight. I wouldn’t say if I didn’t want it. Have I lied to you guys yet? About anything? Nothing. I said what I wanted to do and that’s what I’m going to do. Let’s see if it materializes.“
While Masvidal has yet to feature since his decision shutout loss to Usman last summer in his first promotional title tilt, he has been continously linked with a grudge-match against former interim champion, the above mentioned, Covington.
So far yet to come to fruition, it appears the promotion is working in the direction of booking Covington against the #3 ranked Leon Edwards, who was left opponent-less following his UFC Vegas 21 foe, Khamzat Chimaev was forced to withdraw amid continuing health issues following a positive COVID-19 test result last year.