Dana White provided updates on Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev and Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley.
After losing against Leon Edwards for the second consecutive time, there were questions about what would be next for Usman. It turns out the former UFC welterweight champion wants to jump right back into the deep ends, leading to him calling out Chimaev several times.
🦍x🐺= LFG@KChimaev pic.twitter.com/B1H1JtExMv
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) May 15, 2023
The problem is that Chimaev is supposed to be moving up to middleweight after significantly missing the welterweight limit in his last fight. As a result, Usman called for a catchweight bout against ‘Borz,’ which the UFC president is not a fan of. Dana White was asked about Usman vs. Chimaev during the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press conference and responded by saying:
“It’s a fight that Usman wants, that’s no secret. Usman literally came to the office to lobby for that fight. I told him I love him, Usman is one of the best guys we’ve ever worked with, I love working with the guy, look at all the things he’s accomplished. I don’t do catchweights, don’t do it.”
“You know how Khamzat is. If you talk shit to Khamzat, Khamzat is gonna go right at it with you and doesn’t care who he fights and all that stuff. I don’t know. Obviously, we’ve been making a lot of announcements lately. We haven’t made that announcement because we don’t have a fight done yet. We’re working on stuff for Khamzat.”
Chimaev last fought in September 2022, defeating Kevin Holland after forcing the main card to be shuffled because of his weight miss. ‘Borz’ holds a promotional record of 6-0, but his future is unclear. He could be one win away from a welterweight title shot, but the UFC seems to be pushing his move to middleweight.
I can fight with everyone I don't care who @bullyb170 @USMAN84kg @stylebender @Leon_edwardsmma @ColbyCovMMA @robertwhittaker
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) May 8, 2023
Watch Dana White discusses Usman vs. Chimaev and Sterling vs. O’Malley starting at 14:10:
Dana White confirms Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley is official
Aljamain Sterling is only two weeks removed from his third UFC lightweight title defense. Despite claiming he needed to ensure his lingering injuries wouldn’t be a problem, his next fight was announced for August 19, which is against Sean O’Malley.
‘Funk Master’ and his coach, Ray Longo, raised suspicions about whether or not the title fight was official. During the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press conference, Dana White debunked those rumors by saying:
“Aljo is just one of those guys that just can’t get out of his own way. Apparently, he’s in for the fight. Why he said that? Who knows… The fight is on. The fight is absolutely positively on.”
O’Malley is coming off a split-decision win against Petr Yan in October 2022, which solidified him as the number one bantamweight contender. ‘Sugar’ has already established a massive fanbase, but he could emerge as a worldwide superstar by becoming a UFC champion in the UFC 292 main event on August 19.
Aljo on Monday: “We’ll just have to wait til next week. I gotta get a couple X-Rays still.”
Dana one day later: “It’s Booked!! Sterling vs O’Malley. August 19th in Boston.”@arielhelwani / #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/uO0k1iqSv0
— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) May 16, 2023