Fresh off a highlight reel knockout of Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman wants a quick turnaround fight against the winner of the upcoming welterweight bout between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz at UFC 263, hoping to defend his title by summer.
UFC president Dana White would prefer to see Usman vs. Covington Pt. 2 but, after suffering a broken jaw and being finished in their first fight, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ doesn’t feel ‘Chaos’ deserves a rematch.
“I’m not gonna say I don’t want the fight,” Usman said of Covington in a recent interview with ESPN (h/t MMA Fighting). “I want all the smoke, it doesn’t matter who it is. I want all the smoke. At the end of the day, it’s what have you done to earn this? Your claim to fame can’t be, ‘Oh, I went five rounds and then the guy broke my jaw and finished me.’ That can’t be your claim to fame. Masvidal went five rounds with me too. Tyron Woodley went five rounds with me. You can’t sit around and fight three fights in three years and expect to get a title shot when I just fought three times in nine months. The champion can’t be the most active guy in the division.”
Usman will be keeping a close eye on Edwards vs. Diaz but also the UFC 263 headliner between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, with Usman hinting at a move up to middleweight if ‘The Italian Dream’ pulls off the upset.
“Yes I do want to see how those play out because there’s a lot of implications,” Usman said. “If Leon looks spectacular, it makes sense. If Nate looks spectacular, that could make sense as well. With the whole Marvin and Israel situation, I don’t necessarily want to think about that. I’m 100 percent behind Izzy and I think he can pull it out. I love Marvin as well but I think Izzy can pull that one out. He’s done it before and I think he can and I think he will. But if there was a case to where I would actually go up and challenge for that belt it would be without Izzy being in the picture. So if Izzy’s not champ, then it’s something I could take a look at.”
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 takes place next month, June 12 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.