Kamaru Usman Believes Nate Diaz Would Duck Title Fight if he Beats Leon Edwards
By FCF Staff
It’s not clear right now if the UFC will tap Nate Diaz for a title shot, if he beats top welterweight contender Leon Edwards, May 15. But, if the UFC goes that route, and Kamaru Usman’s still holding the welterweight title, he maintains the star will turn down the fight.
When Diaz takes on Edwards, he will be fighting for the first time since November 2019, when he lost via TKO (due to doctor stoppage) to Jorge Masvidal. Edwards has moved into the title shot mix, via an eight-fight winning streak, and is currently ranked #3.
Usman, meanwhile, is booked to fight Masvidal for a second time on April 24 at UFC 261. Recently he spoke with ESPN, and while discussing the title shot implications of the Edwards – Diaz fight, Usman said this (quotes via MMA Fighting).
“According to me? Absolutely,” Usman said when asked if Diaz should get a title shot if he beats Edwards. “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.’”
“I offered it to Conor when Conor was running his mouth that the third belt looked great to him and this and that and I said, ‘Yo, I’m here. I’m available. What date do you want to do it?’ But he was quiet. He didn’t respond. So that’s the first case where a guy was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want none of those problems. I don’t want to do it.’ And I think this will probably be the second case. If he was able to get that win, I think he will definitely be turning down that title shot.”
Usman is coming off a stoppage win over Gilbert Burns in February. Last July, he defeated Masvidal via decision, in a fight, the latter took on short notice.