Kamaru Usman is open to facing Stephen Thompson or Belal Muhammad for his next fight, but he’s not happy with Khamzat Chimaev’s demands. Usman sees the appeal in fighting Chimaev, but with Chimaev scheduled for a 185-pound bout against Paulo Costa, a matchup between them anytime soon seems unlikely.
Usman lost his lone fight in 2023, failing to regain the welterweight title from Leon Edwards. He aims to bounce back this year, and while Chimaev was initially a consideration, Usman now views him as less relevant. He finds it disrespectful that Chimaev, who has had only five fights in the UFC, questioned why Usman won’t move up to middleweight to fight him.
Usman feels it should be the other way around, with Chimaev proving himself in the sport before demanding such a fight. He even offered a catchweight bout to Chimaev, but the latter insisted that Usman move up to middleweight. As a result, the UFC decided to find Chimaev a different opponent, potentially Paulo Costa.
Considering the middleweight division is filled with experienced fighters, Usman expects to face someone lower in the rankings. He dismisses the idea of fighting Shavkat Rakhmonov, who has trained with him, but he is open to facing Stephen Thompson, whom he views as a challenging and respected opponent. Usman supports Thompson’s decision to decline a fight with Michel Pereira when Pereira missed the welterweight limit, emphasizing that Wonderboy did his job and it’s not his fault the fight didn’t happen.
Another potential opponent of interest to Usman is Belal Muhammad, who is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak. However, the matchup will only happen if both fighters are willing to risk their current positions in the rankings.
In summary, Usman is willing to face either Stephen Thompson or Belal Muhammad for his next fight, but he is no longer considering a bout with Khamzat Chimaev due to the latter’s demanding attitude.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC fighters.
Question: Is Kamaru Usman willing to fight Khamzat Chimaev?
Answer: While Kamaru Usman initially considered facing Khamzat Chimaev, he is now unimpressed with Chimaev’s demands and no longer sees the fight as a priority. Chimaev’s next bout will be in the middleweight division, making a potential matchup with Usman unlikely for now.
Question: Who are the possible opponents Kamaru Usman is considering for his next fight?
Answer: Kamaru Usman is open to facing either Stephen Thompson or Belal Muhammad for his next fight. He views Thompson as a respected and challenging opponent and sees Muhammad as a top-ranked fighter with an impressive unbeaten streak.
Question: Why did Kamaru Usman decline to fight Shavkat Rakhmonov?
Answer: Kamaru Usman chose not to fight Shavkat Rakhmonov because they have trained together at Kill Cliff FC in Florida, and Usman prefers not to face someone he has trained with.
Question: What was Kamaru Usman’s reaction to Stephen Thompson declining a fight with Michel Pereira?
Answer: Kamaru Usman supported Stephen Thompson’s decision to decline the fight with Michel Pereira after Pereira missed the welterweight limit. Usman believes Thompson did his part by making weight and preparing for the fight, and it was not his fault that the bout didn’t happen.
Question: Why did Kamaru Usman dismiss the idea of fighting Khamzat Chimaev?
Answer: Kamaru Usman found it disrespectful that Khamzat Chimaev, who has only had five fights in the UFC, demanded that Usman move up to middleweight to fight him. Usman believes Chimaev should first prove himself in the sport before making such demands.
More about UFC fighters.
- Kamaru Usman open to ‘Wonderboy’ next, takes shot at Khamzat Chimaev for demanding 185-pound fight
- Khamzat Chimaev’s upcoming fight against Paulo Costa at UFC 294
- Kamaru Usman’s previous fight against Leon Edwards
- Kamaru Usman’s statement on being open to fighting Stephen Thompson
- Stephen Thompson’s decision to decline a fight with Michel Pereira
- Belal Muhammad’s 10-fight unbeaten streak and win over Gilbert Burns