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Kamaru Usman gets the respect he demanded in latest UFC pound-for-pound rankings update

UFC 235 Jones v Smith
UFC 235 Jones v Smith
Sayan Nag
Modified 01 Mar 2021

Kamaru Usman has gone up one place in the UFC's pound-for-pound ranking for men. The UFC updated its rankings on Monday, February 15, and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman rose to fourth position, ahead of UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. The jump is due to his third successful title defense against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adensanya occupies the third position in the pound-for-pound men's rankings. Ahead of Adensanya are Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov, at No. 2 and No. 1 respectively, who are probably in contentionto beg the greatest of all time.

Kamaru Usman finished Gilbert Burns in the third round of the main event at UFC 258. The 'Nigerian' Nightmare expressed in his post-fight press conference that he wasn't happy with the kind of respect he was getting despite his achievements. Raising questions on the integrity of the pound-for-pound rankings, Kamaru Usman said:

Everyone. Critics, the media, all of them. Not that I really give a (expletive), but I give a (expletive). I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my (expletive). So put some respect on my name. Like that pound-for-pound list is not a popularity contest. I haven’t really lost rounds in here. I control what goes on inside that cage. And I feel just because I’m not the loudest guy in the room, I’m not the most braggadocious or I don’t get in trouble outside, I’m not in headlines all the time, let’s be honest, they kinda disrespect me in a sense. That pound-for-pound list is not a popularity contest. I need to move up on that list.

Kamaru Usman is possibly the greatest welterweight ever

With his win against Gilbert Burns, Kamaru Usman has won his last 17 fights, 13 of them in the UFC. He also passed George St. Pierre for the most consecutive wins at welterweight and has cemented his position as king of the division. UFC president Dana White has certainly recognized Kamaru Usman's potential. White said at the post-fight press conference:

He just broke his record tonight. If you look at what he just did, he broke his record tonight for consecutive wins (in the welterweight division), and if this guy keeps rolling, if Usman can keep doing what he’s doing, he’s going to go down as the greatest welterweight ever. Fact. Just look at who he’s fought and who he has to fight here in the future, it’s undeniable that this guy will go down as the best welterweight. The question is, where will he go down in the history of the sport?
Published 18 Feb 2021, 00:59 IST
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