UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has confirmed he would prefer to fight Conor McGregor next and has offered the Dubliner a UFC title shot.
Usman is managed by Ali Abdelaziz, who also represents Khabib Nurmagomedov and has had a long-running feud with McGregor. The controversial manager tweeted last week that Usman had offered to defend his belt against McGregor following the SBG fighter’s own Twitter tirade in which he claimed to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
It looks like #1 contender wants to fight Nate Diaz now . Good for him @TheNotoriousMMA hey you want a title shot ? Come to daddy @USMAN84kg will give you one and he promise first 2 rounds without takedowns only slaps 😂
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) May 24, 2020
It was expected that Jorge Masvidal would be the next to challenge for the 170lb title, however, talks have intensified recently that the UFC had other plans for the BMF champion.
This would seem to have paved a way for McGregor to challenge for a UFC welterweight title which, if he won, would make him the first three-division champion in the organisation’s history.
If he's not fighting Masvidal, Usman's team wants McGregor.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 25, 2020
Speaking to ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Usman confirmed that he wants to grant McGregor the next shot at his UFC title.
“This will be history. Like I know a lot of people are trying to s**t on it like Conor doesn’t deserve it. Okay, but the next guy they would be deserving of the fight would be Leon Edwards. He can’t get into the country. So what?”
“I’m gonna give him the opportunity, if Conor wants, let’s do it. But Conor’s quiet now. Who says no to a title shot? I’ve never seen this in history, who says no when the champ says come and get your title shot.
“Unless you know you have no chance in hell of winning. This might change the landscape of your fighting career ever. That’s the only chance I can see people saying I’m gonna pass on that title shot right there.”
Usman continued, claiming that McGregor was fully deserving of the title shot having ‘starched’ Donald Cerrone at 170lbs in his January comeback fight.
"Conor's quiet now. Why is Conor quiet? Who says no to a title shot?"@USMAN84kg sees McGregor as a worthy title challenger, but is surprised by his silence 🤫 (via @bokamotoESPN) pic.twitter.com/6XQpxgK2o5
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 26, 2020
“If Conor can make this fight happen, why wouldn’t we fight Conor?” Usman said.
“He just fought at 170. He looked great. Like Cowboy Cerrone beat a lot of guys that were ranked at 170. He did very well at 170 and Conor went out there and starched him. Obviously I like Cowboy, and he’s my guy. But Conor went out there and got the job done in less than a minute. So how can people sit here and say Conor is not deserving?
“And this is about making history here. He says he’s the pound for pound greatest of all time across 3 divisions. This is your chance to prove it, go out there and win a third belt in a third division. So why wouldn’t we make that fight.”