Making the rounds on Super Bowl LIV Radio Row, UFC president Dana White on Friday told Jim Rome that UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman would likely defend his belt against Jorge Masvidal during the 2020 International Fight Week.
That Usman and Masvidal would fight next wasn’t a surprise to anyone. White has been saying for some time that it is the fight that makes sense. It’s the fight to make.
Consider it made.
“(Masvidal) and Usman will fight in Vegas, probably International Fight Week (in July). If he wins, then maybe we’ll do his first title defense down here in Miami,” White told Rome during a live broadcast from the Super Bowl festivities in Miami, Fla.
“That was always the plan. Then whatever happened with them a couple days ago or yesterday or whenever that was. We hadn’t announced it yet, but now that just forced me to announce it.”
What happened a couple days ago was a face-to-face meeting on Super Bowl Radio Row where Usman and Masvidal were caught on video yelling at and threatening one another. The verbal altercation ended without a physical confrontation. They’ll save that for this summer.
Why the long wait for Usman vs. Masvidal?
The UFC of course always wants to jump on the hype of a fight as soon as possible, but Usman is still sporting a cast while he recovers from tendon and ligament damage in his left hand following his UFC 245 victory over Colby Covington.
Usman looked as good as ever in the fight with Covington, taking him out via TKO in the fifth round. Though he’s rehabbing his left hand, he is expected to be cleared well before summer.
Usman (16-1) has only ever lost in the second fight of his professional career in 2013. He has since won 15 consecutive bouts.
Masvidal (35-13) has had a much lengthier career dating back to 2003. Though he’s had his ups and downs, Masvidal has hit his stride lately, reeling off victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz, to put him in title contention.
UFC International Fight Week takes place annually during the first week in Las Vegas.
Dana White tells Jim Rome that Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal is set
(Courtesy of The Jim Rome Show)