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3 Reasons why Kamaru Usman is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC today

Kamaru Usman celebrates his win at UFC 261
Kamaru Usman celebrates his win at UFC 261
ANALYST
Modified 27 Apr 2021
Feature

Kamaru Usman capped an exciting night of action by stopping Jorge Masvidal in round two to retain the UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 261.

The event's headlining bout ended in another highlight reel-worthy knockout featuring Masvidal. This time, however, 'Gamebred' was on the receiving end of a devastating KO from Kamaru Usman.

The statement win undoubtedly solidified Kamaru Usman's status as the best welterweight in MMA. To top that, many believe that 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has also surpassed Jon Jones as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the octagon.

Given how the UFC landscape was shaken following the events of UFC 261, Usman could overtake Jones in the UFC P4P rankings. If you're not convinced, we think we can make a compelling argument.

3 reasons why Kamaru Usman is the best P4P fighter in the UFC today:


#3 Kamaru Usman keeps breaking UFC records

UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2
UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2

After snagging his 14th straight victory in the octagon, Kamaru Usman broke UFC legend Georges St-Pierre's record for the longest winning streak in the welterweight division. What's even more impressive is that Kamaru Usman did in six years what GSP took ten years to accomplish.

Usman also owns the third-longest winning streak in the UFC, just behind former middleweight champ Anderson Silva and light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones. Silva's streak ended in 2012 while Jones is no longer as active in the UFC as he used to be. That said, Usman's streak could reach the number one spot in the next two years if he continues with his trajectory.

On top of all that, Kamaru Usman has a 100% takedown defense rating. Throughout his career, Usman successfully defended all of his opponents' 20 takedown attempts.


#2 Kamaru Usman is a champion in a loaded division

UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2
UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2

Earning a UFC title in any division is an impressive accolade. But Usman did it in the 170-pound weight class, one of the most talent-rich divisions in the UFC.

Kamaru Usman collected nine straight victories before dominating Tyron Woodley in five rounds to capture the UFC welterweight title. Not only that, Usman convincingly defended his crown against talented contenders like Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, and just beat Jorge Masvidal for the second time.

No disrespect to the other UFC champions, but Kamaru Usman's path to the title as well as his road to retention are just more difficult compared to the likes of Valentina Shevchenko and Jan Blachowicz.


#1 Jon Jones isn't as active as Kamaru Usman

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

Jon Jones currently occupies the top spot in the UFC P4P rankings. But that could soon change, with Usman showing no signs of slowing down and Jones shifting his priorities.

From 2017 to 2020, Jones has only seen action four times in the octagon. Kamaru Usman, on the other hand, has been an absolute workhorse, averaging two fights a year since his UFC debut in 2015.

At this stage of his career, Jon Jones is solely looking for big money fights rather than holding on to the UFC light heavyweight throne. It's been heavily rumored that Jones will cross paths with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou if he can reach an amicable agreement with the UFC.

To be fair, a living legend like Jones has every right to demand what he deems to be a fair price for him to fight in the octagon. However, that comes with some consequences, like dropping into the second spot in the UFC P4P rankings.

Published 25 Apr 2021
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