- Kamaru Usman explained why he thinks a fourth fight with Leon Edwards needs to take place
- “The Nigerian Nightmare” is yearning to face Khamzat Chimaev next
Kamaru Usman is still gunning for a fourth fight with Leon Edwards but until then, “The Nigerian Nightmare” is hoping to take on Khamzat Chimaev for his next fight.
Kamaru needs closure
Speaking to ESPN, Usman reiterated the need to have a fourth fight with Edwards. According to the former welterweight champ, “Rocky” did win in their last fight but he still feels that the new champion has to prove that he really is the better fighter and it can only be determined if they fight again.
“I still felt like like there wasn’t finality to the fight. The rest of the world kinda still feels like that but props to him. Right now he has that belt and we have to respect that, but I need finality… My thing is I need finality. I need you to show me you are better than me from start to finish. Maybe it’s just me selfishly that I need to feel that. If you can’t show me that, you’re not better than me. I just can’t accept that,” Usman explained.
“Of course, he did what he needed to do to get the win and he did it, so he’s the champion right now and I respect that,” he continued. “But I know where I’m at and the level which I still function and where I can. I’m still growing in the sport. As crazy as it is to say, I’m still growing in the sport. So, I’m excited to see what’s next.
Focused on the next opponent
Despite the title fight loss, Usman is still a top contender in his division. He is certain that his next fight has to make sense and as he looks at the current list of possible opponents, he figured there’s not a lot to choose from. However, “The Nigerian Nightmare” sees a fight with Chimaev as the one that suits well for him at this point.
Aside from “Borz,” a showdown with either Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson or Conor McGregor could also make the cut. But more importantly, Usman said that Edwards needs to keep on winning, on the other hand.
“I think Leon needs to definitely keep defending that belt and myself, I’m No. 1 in the world in that division. I think it’s who’s No. 2? Colby [Covington]. They’re gonna fight and No. 3 is Khamzat [Chimaev]. So, I think a fight with myself and Khamzat, boom. And if he (Edwards) keeps winning, I think that’s the fourth fight,” Usman assessed. “For me, now, I’m just kind of in a place where it’s like, I’m having fun with it. I’m having fun. So, it’s like, ‘What’s the biggest, funnest [sic], most intense fight that really makes me feel that?’ And, you know, there’s a couple fights — That [Chimaev] is the fight right there.”
Usman continued, “There aren’t a ton [of interesting] fights. I’m being honest with you,” Usman said. “[Chimaev] is No. 1, biggest one out there. [Thompson] is the last guy from my era who I haven’t fought. We were kind of on a collision course and kept missing each other. That’s an intriguing fight. A crazy style to deal with. And a crazy one, Conor has always said he wanted a third title. When I was champion, you can’t just waltz up, skip everybody and fight for the belt. You have to show some legitimacy. What’s better legitimacy than fighting the No. 1 guy in the division?”
Edwards vs. Covington is 50/50
As for his take on the Edwards vs. Covington title fight, Usman thinks both fighters can beat one another.
“I’m 50-50 to be honest, I would just want to see a an amazing fight at this point you know, I’m getting back to being a fan of the sport again so I would just want to see an amazing fight,” Usman concluded.
Before losing to Edwards twice, Usman defended his welterweight title five times. He remains the No. 1 welterweight contender but has now dropped to No. 7 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. On the other hand, Chimaev has remained unbeaten in the UFC and is now the No. 3-ranked 170-pounder in the world.
Edwards, meanwhile, is set to defend his welterweight title against Colby Covington in an event likely to happen in July.