Kamaru Usman isn't just looking to beat Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 -- he wants to make a statement ... telling TMZ Sports, "I want to put the nail in that coffin once and for all."
Usman -- the reigning welterweight champ -- already defeated Masvidal when they clashed on Fight Island back in July ... but it's worth noting Jorge only took the fight on less than a week's notice.
Remember, Usman's original opponent for UFC 251 was Gilbert Burns -- but he caught COVID and Masvidal stepped up on less than a week's notice to save the card.
Masvidal fought hard -- but it was obvious his conditioning wasn't great ... and Usman proceeded to maul him for 5 straight rounds, winning by unanimous decision.
Ever since that fight, Jorge has been saying he'd wreck Usman if given a proper training camp -- and his wish was granted.
Masvidal will now have 6 full weeks to prepare for Usman before they face off on April 24 and Kamaru says he's fired up!!!
"I am more than excited," Usman tells TMZ Sports ... "I'm blessed for the opportunity that Allah has given me and being able to go out there and do major things. I'm so thankful."
As for Masvidal's claim that he'll whoop Usman the 2nd time around ... Kamaru is clapping back at that, too.
"There's two things -- One, either he truly believes it which I have to take very very very seriously ... or he's just too stupid to understand what's happening right now."
"So, I gotta believe that it's the first one and I gotta take him at his word."
Usman says he knows Masvidal is dangerous -- but at the end of the day he's a "journeyman" fighter who peaked in 2019 ... and those days are long over.
"Now it's time to come back to reality. It's 2021. The ship has sailed my man."
Obviously, Masvidal feels very differently about the situation -- and the good news, we'll get to see them settle their beef in the octagon very soon!