After an exciting night of fights, UFC 251 ended with the welterweight king defending his throne. Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” defeated Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal in the main event on Saturday night by unanimous decision.
For his next bout, Usman will likely take on No. 1 ranked Gilbert Burns, the man who was scheduled to compete against Usman on UFC 251 until he tested positive for COVID-19. However, one fighter could possibly throw his name in the hat. UFC superstar Conor “Notorious” McGregor retired from MMA in June, however, it is largely believed that McGregor will compete again.
With Usman already defeating four of the five top welterweights, McGregor may see this as an opportunity to pursue a welterweight title shot. Even though he is only 2-1 at welterweight, Notorious is known as a man who can get what he wants, and what he wants could be the chance to make history. And when McGregor fights, rankings don’t typically matter.
If Notorious fought Usman, he would have the opportunity to win his third UFC championship in a different weight class. No fighter has ever accomplished that feat, and it would be a major feather in the Irishman’s cap.
Although UFC president Dana White is interested in granting McGregor a shot at the winner of lightweight champ Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje, there is no guarantee when that fight will happen. Khabib’s father and trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, died earlier this month and it is unclear when the lightweight champ will be ready to get back to action.
Because of the log jam in the lightweight division, where McGregor is ranked No. 4, the Irishman may find the timing perfect to try his hand at history. Fans may see McGregor call out Usman in the near future. And if he does, the UFC may give the Irishman what he wants.
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McGregor Would Be a Sizeable Underdog Against Usman Who Is a Superior Wrestler
If Notorious somehow found himself standing across the Octagon of The Nigerian Nightmare, he would be a sizable underdog. Although McGregor has the superior striking, Usman’s pressure and wrestling may be too much for the Irishman.
Just like what Usman did to Masvidal, he would likely try to overwhelm Notorious with his world-class wrestling. However, McGregor cannot be counted out and it would be a fascinating match for fans.
Before UFC 246, Notorious Spoke About Fighting for the Welterweight Title
In January, before his fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, McGregor was eyeing a match with Usman. In an interview with The Mac Life, Notorious said, “I like that welterweight belt. I like the look of Kamaru Usman.”
After the interview, Usman clapped back at McGregor. The Nigerian Nightmare tweeted: “My man [Conor McGregor,] please just go in there and take your L from cowboy. Don’t even dream of this WW strap because that dream can turn into an Nightmare fast.”
My man @TheNotoriousMMA please just go in there and take your L from cowboy. Don’t even dream of this WW strap because that dream can turn into an Nightmare fast.
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) January 4, 2020
As history has it, Notorious defeated Cerrone in only 40 seconds.
McGregor’s Head Coach Likes the Irishman’s Chances Against The Nigerian Nightmare
Notorious longtime head coach John Kavanagh recently spoke with MMA Fighting and he shared his confidence in McGregor. When asked about a potential matchup with The Nigerian Nightmare, Kavanagh said: “That would be an interesting one. A fair size difference in there. Look I’ll be honest, anybody up to or around about his weight class, if there is a very motivated Conor, I think he beats any of them.”
Kavanagh continued, “He has knockout power. He easily has knockout power up to that weight class, and if he was to put in a serious training camp, I think he wins.”