Is there a world where we could see Kamaru Usman fight Nate Diaz? That’s what ESPN’s Marc Raimondi asked the current UFC welterweight champion, and his answer might surprise you. Usman suggested he would love to give Diaz a shot at winning 170-pound gold but that he doesn’t expect Diaz would be up for the challenge.
Usman said, “According to me? Absolutely. You know me, I don’t shy away from any challenge. I’ll take on anybody. But according to him? I think that’s the second case to where a fighter just flat out says, ‘you know what, I don’t even want a title shot. I’m good.'”
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Usman Compares Diaz to Conor McGregor
Usman believes Diaz would turn down the fight if offered, and he claimed Diaz would be following in the footsteps of UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
“You know, I’ve offered it to Conor when Conor was running his mouth…I said ‘Yo…I’m here. I’m available. What date do you want to do it?’ But he was quiet. He didn’t want to respond. So that’s the first case where a guy was like ‘you know what, I don’t want those problems. I don’t want to do it,'” Usman said.
Usman believes Diaz would do the same thing he claims McGregor did, even if Diaz gets past his next opponent Leon Edwards in the co-main event of UFC 262 on May 15.
“I think this would be the second case if he was able to get that win, yeah, I think definitely he will be turning down that title shot,” Usman said.
You can watch that part of the interview in its entirety below.
Usman takes on Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261, and Diaz vs. Edwards takes place the following month at UFC 262. Both stars would have to win their upcoming fights for the proposed Usman vs. Diaz fight to make sense, but Usman believes it still wouldn’t happen because Diaz would turn it down.
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Edwards Is Planning Own Grab for UFC Gold
Regardless, Edwards doesn’t expect Diaz to win anyway.
He recently told ESPN that Diaz shouldn’t rely on taking over in the fourth and fifth rounds of the fight. Edwards said that might work against other fighters, but it won’t work against him.
“Everyone says [five rounds] benefits Nate because when he fought Masvidal, and he was getting battered for three rounds, (everyone said that) rounds four and five were where he was starting to turn on. We’ll see,” Edwards said via BJPenn.com. “If that’s his game plan then it’s going to be a long first three rounds.”
Edwards plans on beating Diaz and grabbing that title shot himself.
“Let’s say I go out there and batter him from pillar to post for three rounds, you only got two rounds to win. Let’s say he does win the two rounds, which he won’t, but let’s say he does win it, I still won the fight,” Edwards said.
“I’ve never been stopped, never been submitted, never been knocked out, so I don’t understand what difference it will make. You can go to a decision and I’ll probably win a decision. So I’m coming into there to hurt him, I’m coming in there to put him away, I’m coming in there to prove that I’m levels above these guys. I truly believe that. Every time I fight I believe I’m levels above these guys.”
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