Dana White Has Strong Take on Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman

Getty Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev. But, promotion president Dana White isn’t interested in seeing the contest.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” spoke with ESPN earlier this week about the potential pairing. Over a month after his failed attempt at retaking his strap from Leon Edwards at UFC 286, Usman said he was all in on “having fun” in the latter part of his mixed martial arts career. And that includes scrapping with the undefeated “Borz.”

“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom,” Usman said. “I’m kind of in a place now where I’m having fun with it, and what’s the biggest, funnest, most intense fight that really makes me feel something? That’s a fight right there. That could headline a pay-per-view.”

“He’s a fighter and I’m a fighter at the end of the day,” Usman continued. “I fight these guys’ heart, not their weight. I’ve been able to deal with middleweights and light heavyweights in the gym. And if he wants a shot at the welterweight strap, you kind of have to give a little bit and show I can get down there and do it. But if it’s up a weight, potentially.”

‘I Don’t Like the Usman Fight’ for Chimaev, White Said

Although Chimaev is ranked within the top five of 170 pounds, the UFC president made it clear to The Schmo on Thursday that Borz is heading north of welterweight following his nearly 10-pound weight miss in September. White also threw water on the idea of the Usman vs. Chimaev showdown.

“We’ve been looking at a lot of different opponents for Khamzat,” White said. “But, yeah — I do not like the Usman fight. And I told Usman that. I don’t do catchweights. Catchweights don’t mean anything. There’s nothing interesting or exciting about them because, at the end of the day, when the fight’s over, neither guy really advances in any way, shape or form.”

Chimaev has been linked to a clash with former middleweight title contender Paulo Costa in October. But when he was asked to verify the rumor, the UFC president didn’t bite. “I don’t know what’s going on with him right now,” White said. “We’re trying to figure it out. We’ll get him figured out soon.”

Usman Is Also Open to Scrap With Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson & Conor McGregor

The Nigerian Nightmare floated a few more names as potential Octagon opponents, namely Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Conor McGregor.

“There aren’t a ton [of interesting] fights. I’m being honest with you,” Usman said. “[Chimaev] is No. 1, biggest one out there. [Thompson] is the last guy from my era who I haven’t fought. We were kind of on a collision course and kept missing each other. That’s an intriguing fight. A crazy style to deal with.

“And a crazy one, Conor has always said he wanted a third title. When I was champion, you can’t just waltz up, skip everybody and fight for the belt. You have to show some legitimacy. What’s better legitimacy than fighting the No. 1 guy in the division?”

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments