Jorge Masvidal 'Absolutely Willing' to Fight Kamaru Usman in UFC 251 Main Event

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2020

Jorge Masvidal speaks at a news conference for the UFC 244 mixed martial arts event, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in New York. Masvidal is scheduled to fight Diaz Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Jorge Masvidal's manager, Abraham Kawa, said Saturday that Masvidal is "absolutely willing" to face UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, according to ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

Gilbert Burns was reportedly pulled from his scheduled fight against Usman at UFC 251 on Friday, and the Brazilian expressed his disappointment on Twitter:

UFC 251 is set to take place July 12 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. That means Masvidal or any other fighter who potentially replaces Burns will only have about one week to prepare.

The 35-year-old Masvidal is the holder of the symbolic UFC BMF title, which he won against Nate Diaz in November. Masvidal owns a professional record of 35-13 with 16 knockouts and two submissions.

He is in the midst of a three-fight winning streak as well with victories over Diaz, Ben Askren and Darren Till.

Despite Masvidal's recent success and his penchant for putting on entertaining fights, he and the UFC have struggled to come to terms on another fight.

On June 5, Masvidal tweeted "If I'm not worth it let me go" at ESPN, a UFC broadcast partner. He also tweeted "Why make me fight for half of what I made on my last fight cause the other dude can't draw?" in reference to negotiations to face Usman for the UFC welterweight title.

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With the UFC in a pinch, the door may be open for Masvidal to get the compensation he desires.

Masvidal is currently ranked third in the UFC welterweight rankings behind only Burns and Colby Covington, so there is no question that he is deserving of a title shot.

Usman would represent arguably the toughest challenge of Masvidal's career, as the 33-year-old Nigerian is 16-1 in his career and is in the midst of a 15-fight winning streak, including victories over Covington and Tyron Woodley in his past two outings.

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