Kamaru Usman has called out Jorge Masvidal for supposedly not wanting to fight with the main event of UFC 249 in jeopardy.
The UFC welterweight champion accused Masvidal of being a "fraud" and a "phony" in a video posted on Instagram (h/t MMA Fighting's Damon Martin):
“Last week, obviously, I had an inclination that the Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and Tony [Ferguson] fight was in jeopardy because Khabib had gone out of the country thinking that the fight was going to take place out of the country, due to the fact that we have closed all our commissions here,” Usman explained. “So he went out, unfortunately now he’s stuck out. Because they’re closing the borders, people can’t come in and what not.
“I did what I needed to do. I knew there was a ton of guys on this card, a lot of guys that aren’t making that much money and haven’t fought in a long, long time and they needed to fight. So you know what I did? I called Dana White and I said ‘Dana, you know what, I want to save that event, I want Masvidal.’ Word for word. I swore on everything. Texted Dana, said I want Masvidal, I’m going to save this event.”
The original main event for UFC 249 was scheduled to be Khabib Nurmagomedov defending the lightweight title against Tony Ferguson, but that match has been put in jeopardy.
Nurmagomedov said during an Instagram live chat on Monday that Russia, where he lives and has been training, has imposed a travel ban in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Masvidal later tweeted that he was free on April 18, the scheduled date for UFC 249:
After Usman's video post, Masvidal issued another tweet saying the Nigerian Nightmare "wouldn't take (the fight) on 7 weeks notice he's not taking it on 2 weeks notice."
UFC president Dana White told reporters in January that he was targeting UFC 252 in July for an Usman-Masvidal bout.
UFC 249 was scheduled to be held in Brooklyn, but restrictions in New York due to the pandemic have forced it to be relocated. White told reporters last week that a location for the show is "99.9 percent done."