Is Khamzat Chimaev the man to beat and finally dethrone undisputed UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who is scheduled for his sixth title defense in four weeks’ time against Leon Edwards?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips as Khamzat continues to vault up the UFC rankings while Usman further cements his legacy as one of the greatest welterweight champions of all time.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ can’t be sure what the future holds, but he is certainly excited about the prospect of facing ‘Borz’ down the line, comparing the hypothetical matchup to the 2015 boxing epic between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
“Of course. It’s great,” Usman told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter during a recent interview (h/t MMA News). “I mean, when you’ve beaten guys once, twice over and now you’re looking at potentially fighting them for a third time, yes, it’s always great to have someone sneak in there and kinda shake things up a little bit that gives you that extra name value, namesake, the one that people really think that, ‘Yeah, that’s the guy! That’s the one that’s gonna go in there and do it.’ That means a lot, and that’s great.”
“And I mean, we’re talking Floyd [Mayweather] and [Manny] Pacquiao here,” he continued. “Floyd’s destroying everybody and everyone’s like, ‘Pacquiao! That’s the guy. That’s the guy that’s gonna do it.’ And the same situation here. I love the fact that people are thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s the guy that could potentially do it. But it’s my job as the champion, so each and every time I step in there, go out there and prove them all wrong, and hold that belt for as long as I can. And when I’m ready to walk away, I walk away.”
Usman has also teased a move to light heavyweight should he defeat Edwards next month, claiming that he matches up well with either Jiri Prochazka or Jan Blachowicz, both of whom possess a considerable size advantage over the pound-for-pound king.
But first, Edwards. Usman will meet the No. 2-ranked welterweight in the UFC 278 headliner on Aug. 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah in what promises to be one of the best PPVs of the summer.