Kamaru Usman Addresses Rematches With Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal

Published 02/11/2021, 1:30 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Kamaru Usman is finally going to face Gilbert Burns for the UFC welterweight title. This fight was initially scheduled for UFC 251, but Burns had to pull out. Jorge Masvidal took the fight on six days’ notice and was easily beaten by Usman in a decision. Usman and Burns will finally meet at UFC 258, after their booking at UFC 256 also fell through.

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However, Usman is still looking ahead at potential opponents. He spoke about two top contenders who he had beaten before in #3 ranked Leon Edwards and #4 ranked Jorge Masvidal.

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“Leon has been on a roll and knocking out guys. Of course, if Leon goes out there and wins impressively, absolutely I believe he deserves the shot. We’ll see what happens with that.”

He then addressed the Masvidal fight. “If it’s Edwards, it’s Edwards… If it’s Masvidal again, he seems to be running with that excuse. ‘I took the fight on 6 days’ notice. I wasn’t training.’ I would love to see how he is with a full camp. He’d be worse with a full camp… With a full camp, it would be way worse for him.”

Kamaru Usman: Targeting realistic opponents?

Kamaru Usman could have spoken about a lot of people but chose two interesting options. Leon Edwards is heading into his troubled match with Khamzat Chimaev, which has seen two cancellations already. ‘Borz’ is ranked #15, but everyone expects Edwards to be an undisputed contender for the title if he takes care of him in March.

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – JULY 20: Leon Edwards of Jamaica reacts after defeating Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil by unanimous decision in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at AT&T Center on July 20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Jorge Masvidal may actually be headed into battle with #1 contender Colby Covington. This is a long-awaited matchup between bitter rivals, which may be a bigger divisional fight than any title fight against Usman, anyway. Finding contenders after that is hard. One could give #5 Stephen Thompson a shot, but it does feel like he needs another win before that.

Usman has to face Gilbert Burns in 2 days’ time. If he cannot get past him, the entire title picture gets blown wide-open ahead of what would become Burns’ first defense. This fight is genuinely massive, but Usman feels comfortable talking about future defenses.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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