Kamaru Usman Claps Back At Shavkat Rakhmonov Over Potential UFC Fight: ‘Khamzat Was Arguably Scarier’

Usman: "You don't become champion to defend over and over and over because you're scared to fight somebody..."

Usman Shavkat
(via Christopher De Santiago, @shavkatrakhmonov94 - Instagram_

Kamaru Usman is growing tired of all these ducking accusations.

Nothing’s new for the former UFC Champion who still very much has a target on his back, despite dropping his last three fights. Usman holds on to the #1 ranking in the welterweight division with many fighters wanting to take what’s his and that includes #3 contender Shavkat Rakhmonov – which we’ll get to later.

Potential Opponents For UFC Return?

Usman, 37, hasn’t fought since UFC 294 last October, where he took the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev to the distance in a majority decision loss, all on 10 day’s notice. Usman’s currently recovering from injuries and plans a return later this year with no opponent in mind just yet… though, there is a few names that stick out to Usman at the moment.

“When I do get back into the octagon, I don’t give a flying freak who it is,” Usman said on ‘Pound 4 Pound‘. “If it’s cousin John, if it’s this guy, if it’s that guy, if it’s Shavkat, if it’s JDM [Jack Della Maddalena], if it’s this guy, if it’s Leon Edwards, or if it’s Belal [Muhammad], I don’t care who it is. When I’m ready to step back into the Octagon and I wanna fight somebody, I don’t give a s***. I’ll fight who I need to fight.”

Rakhmonov’s Looking For A Fight

In hot pursuit of the UFC Welterweight title, the 18-0 Shavkat Rakhmonov is firing on all cylinders when it comes to booking his next fight – a likely title eliminator for the winner of Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 on Jul. 27th. Usman would catch some strays from Rakhmonov earlier this week, with Rakhmonov suggesting the former champion wasn’t keen on fighting him.

“JDM is hurt, Usman and Colby don’t want it,” Rakhmonov wrote on ‘X‘, followed by a graphic of him about to crush the top welterweights with a rock. “I’m ready to face the winner of Leon vs Belal.”

No Nightmares For The Nigerian

A long standing champion at 170lbs and arguably the greatest to ever do it at the weight class (up there with Georges St-Pierre) “The Nigerian Nightmare” says he isn’t losing any sleep over a potential fight with Rakhmonov…


“At the end of the day, people act like, ‘Oh, you scared to fight this guy?’ You don’t become champion to defend over and over and over because you’re scared to fight somebody. Like, shut up. Y’all get me going again,” Usman said of Rakhmonov’s latest jabs.”

You might have seen Rakhmonov and Usman sparring in the gym while at Kill Cliff FC with Usman helping Rakhmonov prepare for his last fight against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson last year – creating some intrigue for the fans in a potential fight between the two down the line.

Usman To Rakhmonov: ‘There’s This Thing Called Respect…’

Having shared the training room before, Usman speaks to Rakhmonov’s respect or lack thereof. 

“This is one of those things because he does come down here in South Florida to train at a gym that I’ve been training at before he was even— see, now the competitor of me is gonna come out and I’m gonna start talking s***,” Usman paused. “Listen, I’m not even in that place, but all I can say is before he was dreaming of fighting in the UFC, I’ve been in this gym training and doing whatever and helping my guys get to the top while I got to the top. Now he comes I know he comes down to South Florida and he trains, but it is what it is. I understand he’s a young he’s a young and he’s a hungry contender or whatnot. But listen, there’s this thing called respect, and you show the respect in order for you to get the respect.

“I’m the type of guy who I’ve been to the mountaintop, and then I’ve come down. You saw in that clip, I was helping you out. I was giving you a look. It’s not one of those things to where you could sit here and say, ‘Oh, I’m scared of you, I don’t want it….’ Listen, I took Khamzat on 9 days notice,” Usman added. “Khamzat was arguably scarier than him, and he’s been hurt. Khamzat hasn’t hadn’t at that point hadn’t fought a fight that lasted really till you know, most of his fights ended in the 1st round.

Usman continued on regarding Rakhmonov’s recent trash-talk, which insinuated he didn’t want to fight ‘Nomad’ out of fear.

“I just let these guys talk. I’m not in that place [to fight yet]. When it’s time for me to come out and dance, I step in that octagon, and I dance all over motherf******. Let them say whatever they need to say, but when it’s time for me to go out there and do my thing, Imma go out there and do my thing.”

There a ton of fun fights for Kamaru Usman in the UFC Welterweight division, so well if the matchmakers land on Shavkat Rakhmonov or somebody else for the former champion’s eventual return to the Octagon.

Published on June 13, 2024 at 5:31 pm
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