Several fighters have jumped at the chance to save UFC 249 after it was revealed earlier this week that Khabib Nurmagomedov was likely out of his headlining lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions Russia.
Amongst those willing to step up to the plate and save the main event are Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal but, according to Usman, ‘Gamebred’ doesn’t want to play ball.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ put Masvidal on blast on social media and accused the UFC ‘BMF’ champ of ducking him.
“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 said, per MMA Fighting. “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.”
“24 hours go by and they say well he doesn’t need to fight, doesn’t want to fight,” he continued. “He hasn’t really been training, that he’s not going to take the fight. That he’s too fat. He’s been drinking too much of that drink of his that he’s drinking. He’s too fat. He can’t fight. I said what? I thought he was a goon, this and that — they said he can’t fight.”
“Today, the news breaks, the first thing these guys do, jump on Twitter, try to clout chase, try to get fans on their side ‘oh I’m free April 18.’ No, you’re not free. If you’re free, call Dana White right now.
“They’re not free. He’s running his mouth because he’s trying to clout chase right now. They’re talking about Usman said no. Usman is saying yes, right now. We can still make the fight. They don’t want that fight.”
Usman went on to say that he intends to make Masvidal ‘squeal like a pig’ when the two do eventually meet in the Octagon.
“The real reason I wanted the fight is because this guy is so much hype, he understands, he knows he can’t hold a candle to who I am, to what I can do,” Usman said. “He knows that. This guy is all hype. He relies on the hype. He relies on all the casual fans to jump on the bandwagon. That’s what he’s relying on. But I knew that fight would not have people in the stands. It would be empty.
“We don’t need the crowd. We don’t need anybody. You know why guys? Because I want you guys to hear what I’m going to say in there to him. I want you guys to hear every blow. I want you guys to hear once I take him down, every punch, every elbow, every ground and pound strike I throw. I wanted you guys to hear him squeal like a pig, like the little b*tch that he is.”
Masvidal fired back at Usman with the following derogatory tweets.
Second time I say yes to the crotch sniffing champ, second time he has a date #theresurrection— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) March 30, 2020
Shut up Ali. Writing tweets for your client. The only thing I’m cutting off is your boys head. Wouldn’t take it on 7 weeks notice he’s not taking it on 2 weeks notice. Clout chasing just like the clout chasing fragile dude.— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) March 30, 2020
“Second time I say yes to the crotch sniffing champ, second time he has a date,” Masvidal responded. “Shut up Ali. Writing tweets for your client. The only thing I’m cutting off is your boys head. Wouldn’t take it on 7 weeks notice he’s not taking it on 2 weeks notice. Clout chasing just like the clout chasing fragile dude.”
Masvidal’s manager, Abraham Kawa, backed up his client and said that Usman was the one who turned down the fight.
“If there’s one thing you know about Jorge, he doesn’t have to lie, he’s got no reason to lie, he’s got no issues,” Kawa stated on Instagram Live. “We have accepted the Usman fight twice now, two times. Once for NYC, we all know how that ended up. Usman said no, he didn’t want to make that fight happen.
“Now we accepted again and he’s saying we turned it down. That’s a damn lie. We got the phone call. We were asked. We knew this was coming. We said absolutely, let’s go.”
Usman got the last word, however, labelling Masvidal a ‘fraud’ and a ‘phony’.
“It’s his management team tweeting for him but guess what? When you let your management team tweet for you, you condone that behavior,” he said.
“This guy’s a fraud, he’s a phony. That’s why I wanted to put him on blast.”
UFC 249 is currently without a location or venue but is expected to take place as planned on April 18.