Dana White has revealed that welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will fight his rival Jorge Masvidal later this year in Las Vegas.
“We haven’t had a fighter from Miami to embrace yet,” White told Jim Rome. “Since I got here, I went to dinner last night, I’ve been walking around – everybody’s yelling, ‘When’s Masvidal fighting in Miami?’ Not soon. We’re going to bring him to Vegas. Him and Usman will fight in Vegas, probably International Fight Week (in July). If he wins, maybe we’ll do his first title defense down here in Miami.
“That was the plan, and whatever happened with them (Wednesday) – we hadn’t announced it yet, but now this has forced me to announce it.”
White went on to praise Masvidal for being the kind of fighter that fans want to root for.
“People love (Masvidal). He’s authentic. He’s real. He’s hardcore. The stuff that went down with Usman, the stuff that went down with (Leon) Edwards – that’s the kind of guy he is. That’s how him and (Nate) Diaz ended up fighting for the ‘BMF’ belt. He’s legit, he’s real, and people feel it, and people like it.”
So it appears that one piece of the puzzle in terms of the UFC’s blockbuster fight plans for 2020 is now almost in place, and it’ll be interesting to see what they have in mind for Conor McGregor now that the two potential title opportunities at 170lbs have been ruled out for the time being.
Not so long ago Dana White seemed sold on the idea of him fighting his old rival Khabib Nurmagomedov next, but if so that will require him to sit out and wait on the outcome of the lightweight champion’s upcoming fight with Tony Ferguson.
McGregor has stressed that he wants to stay active though and also appeared to be enjoying life at 170lbs, so a third fight with Nate Diaz in that weight class could be one potential option that may appeal if he is looking for another bout in the mean time.