Since winning the undisputed UFC welterweight title in 2019, Kamaru Usman ran through all his succeeding challengers. Colby Covington, TKO. Jorge Masvidal, decision followed by decapitating KO. Gilbert Burns, TKO.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” is now slated for his fifth title defense in a rematch against Colby Covington at UFC 268, which he expects to win handily. And as he’s seemingly running out of challengers — Leon Edwards might disagree — Usman is now flirting with the idea of a crossover fight against a fellow pound-for-pound great.
“Honestly, I just wanna see who these guys step out, make the appropriate noise for the organization, for fans, and to get me excited enough to say, ‘OK, that’s the next guy. That’s the guy I wanna fight.’ None of these guys are doing it,” Usman told The Schmo in a recent interview.
“I might have to go drag Canelo out of, you know when he’s done with all these guys that he’s running through. It’s never been done.
“I might have to drag him into, if not an Octagon, I might have to drag him in the ring and actually take him. Because he’s pound-for-pound, it’s never been done. Pound-for-pound MMA fighter and pound-for-pound boxer.
“That might be next if these guys can’t prove that they’re the next number one contender.”
Props to Usman for shooting his shot. But doesn’t that call-out sound familiar?
UFC 268 happens on November 6th at Madison Square Garden. Part of the event are two of Usman’s teammates: Rose Namajunas will defend her title in a rematch against Weili Zhang, while Justin Gaethje will return from a year-long absence to fight Michael Chandler.