Usman claims that he was up for the last minute title defense, but Masvidal turned the opportunity down.
“Last Tuesday I knew that Khabib was out of the country,” Usman said on Instagram Live (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “I texted Dana directly. I said, ‘Dana, I understand situations are going on. But guess what? I haven’t really been training like that, but I’m willing to come in and I’m willing to save that event.’ I’m willing to save it because at home people don’t have anything to watch. They need some entertainment. People want to see this fight. People want to see me and fake-ass journeyman Masvidal. People want to see the fight? Let’s do it. It’s not going to happen to be honest. He has turned down the fight. He has turned it down. He said, ‘No, I’m not ready to fight. I’ve been smoking and drinking and I’m fat and I’m not ready to take the fight.’ That’s what he said. He’s been drinking that liquor that no one can pronounce the name of.”
It would appear that there is one person who would argue against Usman’s version of events and that would be Abraham Kawa, who is Masvidal’s manager.
Kawa claims that while the UFC did contact Masvidal about the short notice title fight, it was Usman who actually refused to defend the title.
“I just want everybody to understand one thing: If there’s one thing you know about Jorge, he doesn’t have to lie,” Kawa said on Instagram Live. “He has no reason for him to lie. He’s got no issues. We have accepted the Usman fight twice now. Two times. Once for NYC (at UFC 244) – and we all know how that ended up. Usman said no. He didn’t want to make that fight happen. He wanted I don’t know what. (He had) some injury or no injury. I don’t know, man. It’s weird with him and his stuff. Now, we accepted again and he’s saying we turned it down. That’s a damn lie. We got the phone call. We were asked. We knew this was coming. We said, ‘Absolutely. Let’s go.’ We knew how this was going to go. Did we think Usman would take the fight? Well, let’s see. He didn’t take it on seven weeks’ notice last time. What makes any of you guys think he’s going to take it on two weeks’ notice this time? It wasn’t going to happen. You guys can say what you want. I know, on our end, we accepted. Whatever happened after that, I can’t tell you, man. I just know this is two times we’ve said yes to Usman and two times we don’t have an answer.”
With UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov potentially out of UFC 249, it seems like the event, which is less than three weeks away, went from having potentially two title bouts to none at the moment.