Former Champion Kamaru Usman Eyeing Fight With UFC Destroyer

Kamaru Usman

Getty Kamaru Usman

Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is eyeing a fight with No. 3-ranked 170-pounder Khamzat Chimaev next.

That’s what “The Nigerian Nightmare” revealed while recently speaking with ESPN.

In March at UFC 286, Usman (20-3) was faced with his second straight defeat to Leon Edwards, the man who took his welterweight strap at UFC 278 last August. The 35-year-old mixed martial artist will have to get to work taking out top contenders should he want another crack at reclaiming his throne.

But, Usman said that he’s “having fun” with his career, and he’s ready to take on big names that excite fans, even if it means “potentially” meeting Chimaev at middleweight.

“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.”

Chimaev (12-0) was supposed to fight Nate Diaz at welterweight in his last outing, but he missed the division’s limit by nearly 10 pounds ahead of their UFC 279 clash in September. It’s unclear what weight class Chimaev will compete in next.

Usman Also Threw Out Stephen Thompson & Conor McGregor as Possible Opponents

The Nigerian Nightmare reiterated that Chimaev is at the top of his list for his comeback opponent. But, he also shared that scraps with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Conor McGregor were enticing as well.

“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?”

Usman Said There Has Been ‘No Finality’ Between Him & Edwards

Although the Nigerian Nightmare is 1-2  against Edwards, which includes a devastating head kick knockout loss, he still has unfinished business with him, telling ESPN that there was “no finality” to their trilogy bout.

“I still felt there was no finality to that fight,” Usman said. “I mean, the rest of the world kind of feels like it, but you know, props to him that he has the belt but I need finality. I need you to show me you are better than me from start to finish.”

Edwards and Usman fought through all five rounds of their headliner in March and Rocky walked away with a majority decision (48–46, 48–46, 47–47).

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