UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is getting ready to schedule his fourth title defense and apparently desires a rematch with No. 4-ranked Jorge Masvidal.
Usman told ESPN's Brett Okamoto he believes he has "earned the right" to pick his next bout and there's no question he wants Masvidal. The champ is currently in discussions with UFC President Dana White about making the fight happen, but he has already taken to goading Masvidal back into the Octagon.
"He knows he can't beat me," Usman said. "There are certain guys you just know, 'I can't beat that dude.' He just doesn't have the skills to beat me. Now, can a freak accident happen on any given day? Absolutely. But 10 times out of 10, I beat him badly, which is why I looked at him. It's my show. I pick who I fight."
Usman defeated Masvidal via unanimous decision at UFC 251 last July in a fight that came together quickly after Usman's original opponent, Gilbert Burns, tested positive for COVID-19.
Now Usman wants an official matchup with Masvidal where both fighters have an opportunity to properly train to face each other.
"At this point, I just didn't like all the circumstances I had to deal with going into [the first fight with Masvidal], and it left a sour taste in my mouth," Usman said. "The s--t they've talked has left a sour taste in my mouth. I need to put him in the ground for good."
Masvidal hasn't fought since his loss to Usman. Ali Abdelaziz, who manages Usman, told Okamoto no official deal is in the works. Instead, he suggested the possibility of Usman and Masvidal coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter:
"Kamaru said, 'Listen, The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN, the biggest platform in the world, that's what we want.' Jorge Masvidal is a star, you can't take that away from him, but we believe Kamaru will go out and put a nail in the coffin this time. Kamaru and Dana sat down and on our end, we're all for it. Dana is the boss and he makes the decisions, but I think Dana is showing him the respect of giving him what he wants. It makes sense for everybody. There is no contract yet, but did Dana like the idea? Of course. Now, he has to think about it and we're hoping it gets done on the other end."
As Usman and Masvidal continue to take shots at each other from afar, a potential venue has been one of the few things the two agree on. They'd both like the bout to take place in Miami with fans in attendance if White can make it happen.