There are several potential challengers awaiting Kamaru Usman, but the welterweight champ doesn’t appear to be too interested in the consensus No. 1 contender.
After Usman retained his belt with a fifth round stoppage of Colby Covington at UFC 245, Dana White admitted that a potential title bout between Usman and Jorge Masvidal would be “massive.” Masvidal is one of the biggest stars in the UFC after a 2019 campaign that saw him defeat Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.
Usman isn’t particularly impressed with “Gamebred.” Instead, he finds another option more appealing.
“Eh. Who cares?” Usman told TMZ Sports. “Honestly, I’m being honest, if you talk about a guy who is deserving of a title shot, it’s Leon Edwards... This guy hasn’t lost since he fought me. Has been fighting tough guys. He’s in the same position that I was in over a year and a half ago and that’s when guys recognize that you’re tough and they don’t want to take that gamble of fighting you and having you step over them. He’s a guy who I know is tough, and I recognize his talents for sure.”
Indeed, Edwards has won eight consecutive fights since his loss to Usman at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015. Both men have come a long way since then, when their matchup was the third fight on the card. Edwards has been linked to a fight with Tyron Woodley in recent months, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.
Usman, of course, also can’t help pondering a potential money fight against Georges St. Pierre. The Canadian star came out of retirement in 2017 to win the middleweight belt and then retired again when he couldn’t come to terms with the UFC for a bout with lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Usman sees himself as a more-evolved version of GSP.
“Honestly, I’m an equal opportunity guy. I don’t really care who it is. If I had to choose, of course I wants Georges,” Usman said. “I want GSP. One more win and I tie him for most consecutive wins [in the welterweight division] and how sweet would that be to actually get that win off of him?
“That would be an extremely exciting fight because I think we are the two hybrids of the welterweight division. Since the welterweight division has been going on, I think he and I are the two hybrids. When he came on the scene, he could do it all systematically break guys down to make the fight look easy. I just think that I’m a better level of that. I’ve got the power, I’ve got the cardio, I’ve got the strength, I’ve got the speed. So I think it’s a big, big, big fight, and all due respect to Georges, but I think I finish him.”
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor implied that he might be interested in making a run at 170 pounds following Usman’s victory. “The Nigerian Nightmare” brushed off the notion of a fight with the Irish star.
“He must want to die,” said Usman. “I mean, what? He must want to die. This is not 145, 155. You saw what Khabib did to him. Like, oh my God, it wouldn’t even be fair if I fought Conor. So, much respect to Conor for what he’s done for this sport and transcended it but nah, this ain’t what you want. Just sit down little man, sit down. Learn to walk before you can run because I would hurt that guy.”