UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is one of the most dominant champions in the sport, and the 33-year-old Nigerian-born American believes he could be on his way to being able to choose between facing two of the biggest names in combat sports today. But Usman revealed to TMZ Sports he would pick fighting Jake Paul in a boxing ring over facing Conor McGregor inside an MMA cage.
That’s right. Usman doesn’t want to tangle with McGregor, but he would love to throw hands with Paul.
Usman told TMZ he expects to be able to fight two more times this year, but he believes the rest of the UFC welterweight division will need to sort itself out before he goes through with facing the top contenders again. It means he could find himself aiming at a megafight vs. boxing’s biggest upstart, Paul.
“If these guys don’t show me anything, maybe I’ll go pull out one of these guys who think they can fight, they can box, one of these Internet guys and beat the s*** out of them,” Usman said.
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Usman Dismisses Fight vs. McGregor
When asked about the recent trash talk between Usman and McGregor, Usman said it was all just talk and that he didn’t want to fight McGregor anytime soon because the Irish superstar hasn’t shown he’s a legit contender.
“No. At the end of the day, Conor hasn’t shown me anything either. He’s fought once in, what, a year in a half? And that didn’t end very well for him, and that was a 55-er, where he got put out by a 55-er,” Usman said.
Usman noted McGregor’s incredible popularity far outweighed his fighting credentials right now. That’s especially the case after McGregor was stopped by Dustin Poirier in the second round at UFC 257 in January.
“But he got finished by a lightweight. I mean, imagine what I would do to him. I might take his life in there,” Usman said.
So if McGregor hopes to challenge for the UFC’s coveted 170-pound title someday, he’ll need to prove he can compete at the weight. Actually, the thing he’ll need to do first is win his upcoming lightweight battle at UFC 264 against Dustin Poirier on July 10.
“He needs to show me something as well. The only reason there’s any kind of talk right now on social media is because that’s what Conor does now,” Usman said.
“Conor knows he doesn’t want to fight me.”
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Usman Challenges Paul
Usman considers even talking about facing McGregor a “waste of time”, but he doesn’t feel the same way about his potential boxing bout against Paul. Usman credited Paul for making a name for himself and causing a stir in the fight community with his recent callouts of UFC stars.
“Right now, these Internet guys are making more noise than the guys in my division,” Usman.
So Usman appreciates Paul’s tactics and his ability to make waves in the sport.
“I think it was great. It was great for Jake Paul because now we’re having to sit here and have another conversation about him. So it’s great. What he’s doing is working…”, Usman said.
In fact, Usman seems unhappy enough about the event to offer his own challenge to Paul.
“At the end of the day, that’s Daniel Cormier, one of the best ever to do this and Jake Paul needs to put some respect on his name,” Usman said.
So Usman offered to be the next UFC star to fight Paul, and he wants to do it for Cormier.
“DC, sit down. Let me take care of that for you. Let me take care of that,” Usman said.
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