UFC president Dana White has been heavily critical of Kamaru Usman in the past. But after seeing the “Nigerian Nightmare’s” dominant win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale on Friday, the outspoken company executive is starting to change his tune.
“I’ve been talking a lot of smack about him in his last several fights because I feel like he talks too much and doesn’t do enough in the octagon,” White said of Usman during the post-fight media scrum (transcript via MMAjunkie). “Well, he looked damn good tonight. Tonight he went in, and he delivered. He was punching harder in the fifth round than he was in the first round. Just punching, kicking, wrestling – the whole thing was impressive.
“I have such a huge amount of respect for ‘RDA.’ The guy’s a stud. He said it himself. He’s been here for 10 years; he’s fought all the best. Every time ‘RDA’ steps in there it’s incredible. So, Usman looked good tonight.”
White was greatly impressed by Usman’s performance, that he is now rethinking his previous decision of having Colby Covington face Tyron Woodley for the title, next.
“I would like to see (Usman) fight Woodley now after seeing that,” White said. “Listen, Colby Covington pulled out of the fight, didn’t defend his belt, this, that, and the whole thing. I’m one of these guys, when I just see a fight like this, I want to see Usman fight now. We’ll see what happens, though I’m not saying that’s the case. Sure (it’s possible).
“Nothing’s guaranteed in life, man,” he said when asked if Covington was previously assured a title shot. “Nothing’s guaranteed in life.”
With a record of 14-1 (with 7 wins by stoppage), Usman has so far remained undefeated in the UFC since he made his debut in 2015.