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Kamaru Usman questions Masvidal, McGregor: 'Who says no to a title shot?'

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Kamaru Usman may be the UFC welterweight champion, but “The Nigerian Nightmare” is somewhat baffled about why opponents aren’t prepared to step into the cage and battle for his belt.

While all signs initially seemed to be pointing to a summer showdown between Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) and Jorge Masvidal, it appears “Gamebred” may pursue other options for his next fight.

It’s left Usman, who’s been ready to return since April, confused as to why Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) would consider any other fight over a title shot.

“In the history, when have you seen a No. 1 contender say, ‘You know what? We’re not gonna take the fight to become the champion of the world and be the star that we always wanted to be?'” Usman asked ESPN. “Why would anyone do that? Oh, you’re just trying to get some money because you think that’s an easier fight for you. The guy that you kinda just beat, playing around, that’s a better fight for you?

“Why is that a better fight than being the champion of the world? Or because you know that the champ of the world is gonna beat the (expletive) out of me and I have nothing that I can do about it so you know what, let me try and go over here and get some easy money.”

Usman also extended a title shot offer to former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who recently ruffled some feathers on Twitter when he inserted himself in the greatest of all-time conversation, boasting about his array of finishes across three weight divisions.

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So Usman was willing to put that theory to the test by offering McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) the fight instead, but “The Notorious” is yet to respond.

“We’re about making history here,” Usman said. “He said that he’s the pound-for-pound greatest of all time across three divisions, this is your chance to prove it. Go out there and win a third belt in a third division. So why wouldn’t we make that fight? I’m gonna give him that opportunity. If Conor wants it, let’s do it. But Conor’s quiet now. Why is Conor quiet? Who says no to a title shot?”

Usman says that there’s no reason for McGregor to turn down the opportunity, unless the Irishman knows he can’t beat him.

“I’ve never seen this in history,” he continued. “Who says ‘no’ when the champ says, ‘come and get your title shot,’ unless you know you have no chance in hell in winning? This might change the landscape of your fighting career (for) ever.”

Usman, who hasn’t competed since last December when he stopped Colby Covington in his first title defense at UFC 245, is projecting a July return and is happy to face either Masvidal or McGregor next.

“Jorge Masvidal, you’ve had the opportunity,” Usman said. “April 18, you had the opportunity, you said no. May 9, you had the opportunity, you said no. June you said no and now July. You want to fight Nate, a fight that wasn’t competitive.

“And Conor, you said you wanted to be the king of the 170 division, now you’re quiet. So, you know what, just remain quiet. That’s what I expect. I’ve given both of you guys a shot, and none of you guys wanna take it.”

Gallery

Photos: Best of Kamaru Usman

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