UFC welterweight king Kamaru Usman has said he offered Conor McGregor a shot at the title but the Irishman “was silent”, preferring instead to face fighters “with double-digit losses” when stepping up to the 170lb ranks.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ cemented his position at the top of the welterweight pile with a dominant decision victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 on Fight Island earlier this month, continuing an unbeaten streak which spans a remarkable 16 bouts and seven years.
One man previously linked to a match-up with Usman is Irish former two-weight champ McGregor, who stepped up to welterweight to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in his successful octagon comeback in January.
‘The Notorious’ has since retired, however, claiming the fight game “no longer excites him” as he called it quits for the third time in four years.
Usman says that he offered McGregor a shot at 170 lbs gold, but that the Irishman had opted not to take up the challenge – instead remaining unusually tight-lipped.
“It’s just a lost conversation, it’s a lost cause because we both know Conor,” Usman told TMZ Sports when asked about a potential showdown.
“The only time Conor gets up to the welterweight division is if he’s able to pick and choose lightweights with double-digit losses that he can pick off and not have to cut weight to get down to lightweight.”
Usman continued: “If Conor wants a piece at welterweight, he knows who the king of the division is. I’m not going anywhere, I’m right here.
“I offered him a shot. I said, ‘Hey if you want it, it’s yours, you got it’ and he was silent.
“Days later, Anderson Silva offered him and he said, ‘yeah, let’s do it’. It’s clear right there whether Conor is willing to step up and take a fight like this (against me), but I think he’s a wise guy. Stay retired.”
McGregor’s mind currently seems far away from the fight game, with the 32-year-old Irish star sharing footage with his 36 million Instragram followers of himself sparking up a large roll-up on as he lounged on a beach this weekend.
When asked whether beaten rival Masvidal could be the man to entice McGregor back into the octagon, Usman said he was unconcerned about what the Irishman does.
“Honestly, I don’t know [if McGregor can beat Masvidal], and truthfully I don’t really care. At this point in my career, I’m just worried about me.
“If Conor wants to put my name in his mouth, then come get some. Anybody wants to say something about me, just come get some… I’m the king, I’m not calling people out.”
The most likely next opponent for Usman, 33, is Brazilian contender Gilbert Burns, who was denied an opportunity to face the welterweight king on Fight Island after testing positive for Covid-19 – allowing Masvidal to step in at six days’ notice.
Elsewhere, another potential challenge touted in MMA circles is retired Hall-of-Famer Georges St-Pierre, a former middleweight and welterweight ruler.
Usman admitted that the 39-year-old Canadian would be an exciting prospect.
“As far as Georges St-Pierre, yeah, I would love to test myself against a guy like that,” he said.
“But, as far as Conor, if he wants a piece, he can come talk to the king.
“Those aspirations to becoming a welterweight champion severely turn into nightmares when you step inside that octagon with me.”