At the 30th anniversary Q&A event in Las Vegas, Kamaru Usman was eager to discuss his return to the octagon and had expected to talk about his potential fight with Khamzat Chimaev.
Following his loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 286 in March, where he fell short in his quest to reclaim the welterweight title, Usman had expressed his interest in a matchup with Chimaev. MMA Hook’s José Youngs inquired about the status of the potential fight, which Dana White had indicated he would approve if contested at middleweight.
“I’m doing well, just training and rediscovering my love for my training routine,” Usman stated. “The past couple of years have been somewhat chaotic, with ups and downs, but I’m falling back in love with the routine again.”
“Like many others, I thought I would be fighting Khamzat too. We’ll have to see what happens,” Usman added.
Explaining the reasons for the fight not materializing, Usman mentioned logistical challenges but expressed his readiness to step into the octagon. “There are various logistical factors, not necessarily on my end, that hindered the fight. Nevertheless, I feel great and I’m prepared to fight.”
If the bout with Chimaev cannot be arranged, Usman revealed his interest in fulfilling Conor McGregor’s longstanding desire to face him in the welterweight division. “Conor has always expressed his wish to fight me at 170, so that could make sense. I’m no longer the champion, so hey, let’s do it.”
Usman previously held the welterweight title for an extended period before being stunned by Edwards at UFC 278 in August, suffering a fifth-round knockout via a head kick. While he aspires to compete for the title again, Usman acknowledges that there is work to be done.
In the meantime, Edwards is expected to defend his title against Colby Covington sometime this year, a fighter Usman has defeated twice. When asked about the potential championship matchup, Usman expressed his intrigue.
“It’s a compelling fight,” Usman commented on the potential bout. “Both fighters are highly talented and bring unique challenges. I have defeated both of them once or twice, so we’ll see who comes out on top.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about welterweight matchups
Why did the matchup between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev fail to come together?
According to Kamaru Usman, there were logistical challenges that prevented the fight with Khamzat Chimaev from happening. However, he did not provide specific details about those challenges.
Who does Kamaru Usman want to fight if the matchup with Chimaev doesn’t happen?
If the fight with Khamzat Chimaev cannot be arranged, Kamaru Usman expressed interest in fighting Conor McGregor, as McGregor has previously expressed a desire to face Usman in the welterweight division.
How does Kamaru Usman feel about the Edwards vs. Covington matchup?
Kamaru Usman finds the Edwards vs. Covington matchup intriguing. He acknowledges that both fighters are talented and present different challenges. Usman has previously defeated both Edwards and Covington in the past.
Will Kamaru Usman have a chance to fight for the title again?
While Kamaru Usman hopes to have the opportunity to fight for the title again in the future, he understands that there is work to be done before that can happen. He aims to continue improving and making his way back to title contention.