When it comes to defending his client in Kamaru Usman, especially when Jorge Masvidal is involved, Ali Abdelaziz did not mince any words.
Speaking with MMA Junkie, Abdelaziz responded to Masvidal's claim that Usman, the UFC welterweight champion, was a coward. This comes after a rematch was set between the two following Usman's one-sided win over Masvidal at UFC 251. Masvidal only had a few days to lose weight. He will now have a full camp heading into UFC 261 on April 24 inside the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.
Abdelaziz was not buying into what Masvidal was selling.
“I listened to some interviews, and Masvidal called him a coward,” Abdelaziz stated. “I don’t think any of these guys are cowards. I don’t think Masvidal is a coward, I don’t think Usman is a coward, none of these guys are cowards. How are you gonna call a guy a coward who gave you an opportunity on six days’ notice and now giving you a second opportunity? If he’s a coward, he should run away from you, right? But realistically, people say things to promote fights. It is what it is, but Kamaru is the furthest thing from being a coward. He’s a real man.”
Usman won the title against Tyron Woodley in 2019. He would beat Colby Covington via TKO and would control the entire contest against Masvidal. In February, Usman beat Gilbert Burns via TKO at UFC 258 to defend the title for the third time. Masvidal was on a three-fight win streak before facing Usman. He had a history-making KO against Ben Askren and beat Nate Diaz for the BMF Title.
The fight between the two was a success; it generated a 1,300,000 buyrate. Abdelaziz understands the value of the fight, just like all big bouts Usman has been in. Abdelaziz pointed out just how valuable the champion is. He also mentioned why Masvidal is getting another fight.
“Colby (Covington), he talked all that sh*t. You see what happened to him,” Abdelaziz went on to say. “Even Masvidal, he got dominated 50-44. It’s the reason why we put you in there. Dan Lambert knows. I talked to Dan Lambert, and he knows Kamaru chose (Masvidal). You know why? He’s a guy who brings in eyeballs. He did a great job creating a good hype.
“But listen, he’s 3-3 in his last six. Kamaru is 17-0 in his last 17 fights, 13-0 in the UFC. You cannot call this man a coward. You have to thank him because he’s gonna get paid fighting Kamaru. Losing to Kamaru is great. He’s the champ; he’s supposed to beat you. But losing to Colby or Leon Edwards, you lose street credit.”
UFC 261 will also feature Zhang Weili defending the UFC strawweight title against Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko defending the UFC flyweight title against Jessica Andrade.