‘Ridiculous To Me’- Kamaru Usman Blasts Welterweight Division Fighters For Ducking Each Other

Published 04/22/2021, 11:45 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman poses on stage during the UFC 245 press conference at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman has been a fighting champion since he won the Welterweight Championship in 2019. He has three defenses under his belt against top-ranked contenders like Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Gilbert Burns. He is about to face Masvidal again, but no new contenders have emerged after UFC 261.

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Usman is most likely going to rematch Colby Covington if he can get past Masvidal. But he isn’t happy with how top-ranked Welterweights keep declining fights against each other in hopes of a title shot.

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“Another thing that’s frustrating is these guys aren’t not wanting to fight each other. How is the champion the most active guy in the division? That’s ridiculous to me. Covington is offered to Masvidal. He turns him down. Edwards is offered to Covington, he turns him down. [Khamzat] Chimaev is offered to [Stephen] Thompson, and he turns him down.

“These guys don’t want to fight each other but they’re waiting for the champion to just pull their number and say ‘all right, you come make some money and you come make some money.’ That’s what I mean. These guys need to go out there and put on a performance to where I’m like ‘wow.’ That motivates me. I’ve got to fight that guy.”

Kamaru Usman: Dissecting the matchmaking problems correctly?

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 16: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman interacts with the media during the UFC 246 Ultimate Media Day at UFC APEX on January 16, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Kamaru Usman is not wrong. We have seen multiple top-ranked Welterweights serve a lot of time away from the cage. Colby Covington has fought once since December 2019. Jorge Masvidal didn’t fight anybody while Usman defended his title against Gilbert Burns.

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is going to face Burns next, so there is some clarity on that front. But he did avoid fighting Khamzat Chimaev. However, Chimaev is not ranked high enough. Leon Edwards is a top-three Welterweight, but his last fight was against Belal Muhammad and he will fight the unranked Nate Diaz next.

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Covington is the next contender by virtue of nobody having usurped him because of the inactivity among top Welterweights. While Edwards may be able to get past Diaz and make his case for a title shot clearer, nobody will say it’s a conventional way to get a title shot. The issues run deep while evaluating the next top Welterweight contender.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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