Kamaru Usman Says He Would Never Fight Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 02/03/2021, 2:01 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria celebrates after his victory over Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Despite having one of the most perfect careers in mixed martial arts, Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t have the distinction of being a double champ. If he would ever wish to achieve the same, the most obvious way would be to win a second belt at welterweight.

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That would require fighting the current 170-pound kingpin, Kamaru Usman. However, Usman seems adamant about never pursuing Nurmagomedov as a potential opponent. While talking to TMZ Sports, Kamaru Usman showed zero interest in a potential fight with the lightweight champ.

That’s not something I would ever pursue. The thing between me and Khabib is we have this respect for each other like we can always talk to each other like men. So, if that’s something that he was interested in and he came back and had a conversation with me like I wanna do that, you know that’s something we’d visit at that time,” Usman said.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Both Nurmagomedov and Usman have a common manager between them, Ali Abdelaziz. Consequently, the two share a mutual feeling of respect for each other. The two have also shared the stage together during Dominance MMA media day last year. However, fights between two fighters under the banner of Dominance MMA have taken place before.

Nurmagomedov’s last opponent, Justin Gaethje, and Usman’s next title challenger, Gilbert Burns, are also clients of Ali Abdelaziz.

Kamaru Usman believes a potential fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov will be a big one

Khabib Nurmagomedov shocked the world with his out of the blue retirement at UFC 254. Ever since then, there have been a lot of speculations regarding what could entice the Russian to return to the Octagon. Prior to UFC 257, Dana White said that Nurmagomedov would return if he saw something impressive. However, his reaction after this year’s first PPV has almost closed the door shut on his return.

In the last few years, the popularity of ‘The Eagle’ has grown by leaps and bounds. Meanwhile, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is yet to lose a fight inside the UFC. A former Ultimate Fighter, Usman has been steamrolling his way through the welterweight division. Hence, a fight between him and Nurmagomedov would surely make the audience tune in.

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“Me, personally, that’s not something I would ever pursue. Absolutely not. Let’s just say that it will be a big one for sure, but that’s not something that I would go out there and pursue,” Usman added.

The welterweight champion is currently preparing for his UFC 258 headliner against Gilbert Burns. The fight has been in the making since June last year, but has failed to take place.

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Rishabh Singh

655 articles

Rishabh Singh is an MMA author at EssentiallySports since 2020. An engineer in the making, his love for combat sports began by watching Anderson Silva light people up inside the Octagon. When he isn't busy in his technical pursuits, he is an avid reader with a love for sports in general and sporting history in particular.

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