A sequel to one of last year’s most hyped fights is close to complete after ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that all parties are near to a deal for a welterweight world title bout later this year.
This comes after a prolonged social media back-and-forth between the two 170-pounds rivals with Usman seeming to have pulled back on the idea of rematching Masvidal, whom he defeated by unanimous decision on ‘Fight Island’ last summer, but — per Helwani — any potential road blocks appear to have cleared.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) February 20, 2021
Usman initially called out Masvidal shortly after his win against Gilbert Burns in Las Vegas earlier this month but seemed to recant some days later on social media when he announced that “anyone can get it”. Masvidal, though, says that Usman’s reluctance is because he doesn’t like his chances in a fight in which Masvidal will have a full training camp. He took last summer’s fight on just six days’ notice.
“This fight’s not dead,” Helwani told Daniel Cormier on Monday on ESPN. “Honestly, I’d be shocked if this fight doesn’t happen… They’re pretty close from what I’m told.”
While there has been no official comment as of yet from the UFC, word is expected to filter out in the coming days so long as an accord can be reached between the two warring welterweights.