On Saturday night, Masvidal served as part of the commentary team for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s one-sided drubbing of Avni Yildirim and he spoke to several media outlets after the boxing match was finished.
In an interview with Boxing Social, Masvidal broke the news that he was already cementing his second shot at UFC gold later this year after he fell to Usman by unanimous decision in their first meeting in 2020.
“Right now I’m focused on me fighting for the belt, which is going to be in August/September, actually September, we just got word on this,” Masvidal said.
“So you’re like the second person actually to know this right now. That’s just how luck works man. A lot of MMA media sites are going to be mad I dropped to on yours first, boxing of all people. There’s going to call me a traitor. But that’s what I’m worried about.”
While it’s entirely possible that Masvidal will end up fighting Usman, the welterweight champion’s manager Ali Abdelaziz issued a statement to MMA Fighting on Sunday shooting down reports that the bout is a done deal or that the date has already been determined.
“Masvidal doesn’t decide anything,” Abdelaziz said. “He needs to sit down and keep working his wrestling.
“When the champ makes a decision maybe he will give them an opportunity but for now nothing [is] happening.”
Following a third-round TKO over former teammate Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, Usman immediately turned his attention to Masvidal after the “BMF” champion had taken numerous shots at him after accepting their first fight on just six days’ notice.
Usman promised a much more decisive victory in a rematch while reminding Masvidal that he wasn’t at his best when they met the first time after he also endured a wild travel schedule coupled with a fight cancellation after Burns was pulled from the card this past July after he tested positive for the coronavuirus.
“This time I want to stop him for real because I think that’s the only thing that’s going to close his mouth,” Usman said following his win in early February. “Pretending walking around here like he’s Jesus or something. Well, I’m going to put him in a coffin this time.
“This time I will stop him. I promise you. That’s why I was disappointed in myself that last fight because I know I can stop him but with all the circumstances took place, I just went out there and dominated him from start to finish. This time I will stop him if he wants to step up.”
If negotiations are underway to potentially book Usman against Masvidal later this year, there’s also chatter that the welterweight rivals could possibly end up as coaches on the revamped Ultimate Fighter, which is expected to return this summer.
Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen.