“I Am Going to Have to Fight a Friend Again?”- Kamaru Usman Believes He’s Going to Defend His Title Soon

Published 04/03/2021, 10:08 AM EDT


The reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman was present at UFC 260. But this time, he wasn’t in the building as a fighter, rather he was a cornerman for his good friend Francis Ngannou. ‘The Predator’ defeated Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title with a brutal knockout inside two rounds.

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Still, Ngannou wasn’t the only one ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was rooting for. The welterweight champion had his eyes on the co-main event featuring welterweight fighters Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque.

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‘The Silent Killer’ got the better of Woodley with a D’arce choke and moved closer to title contention with the utmost brilliance.

Kamaru Usman congratulates his ‘friend’ Vicente Luque

Usman met with ‘The silent Killer’ backstage post his fight with Woodley and congratulated him for his win. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ said, ” No.7?…I am going to have to fight a friend again?”

Luque represents the Sanford MMA team, where Usman used to master his trade once upon a time. Given Luque’s trajectory, he could be set for a clash with ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ pretty soon, but Usman is no stranger to fighting his friends.

Who was the other friend who shared the octagon against Kamaru Usman?

At UFC 258, Usman defended his title against Gilbert Burns, another former teammate at Sanford MMA. Although the two were scheduled to fight at UFC 251 in July 2020, the latter tested positive for Covid-19 along with his team. Hence, Jorge Masvidal stepped up to fight against ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ and lost via a convincing unanimous decision on Fight Island.

Burns retained the title shot and received it at UFC 258, where Usman trounced him in the third round. The champion’s devastating jabs proved to be too much to handle for ‘Durinho’ as he continuously took missteps and slipped at crucial junctures.

The road ahead for Vicente ‘The Silent Killer’

With this win over a former champion, Luque has built an aura around himself where he’s not looking to just fight anyone. He’s announced his arrival in the top 10 of one of the toughest weight classes in the sport, and most of the names ranked above him already have something planned.

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The positive thing for Luque is that some major fights are approaching fast. Usman will defend his title against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24, while Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards will meet less than a month later at UFC 262. The 170-pound division will have more clarity within six weeks. Hence, Luque would be wise to wait and see where he fits after everything pans out.

With so many action-packed events to come, it is going to be interesting to see how everything pans out. Furthermore, it would interest fans to see who the UFC will book Luque against. For now, he has to wait until the dust settles down. Who do you think ‘The Silent Killer’ would fight next?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

96 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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