In a recent interview with JD Sports, Kamaru Usman was asked to rank the top five fighters he would like to fight. While reinstating that he has already run through his division, Usman mentioned current welterweight contenders Leon Edwards and Colby Covington and all-time great Georges St-Pierre.
'The Nigerian Nightmare' went on to name two middleweights he would love to face at some point: Darren Till and Robert Whittaker. Interestingly, both these fighters used to compete at welterweight before moving up a weight class.
Kamaru Usman was expected to fight Darren Till at some point during his rise through the welterweight ranks. Usman was even scheduled to be a backup fighter for the title bout between then-champion Tyron Woodley and Darren Till.
As fate would have it, Till lost the title bout and eventually moved up to middleweight, citing issues with his weight cut. Kamaru Usman faced Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 and dominated him to become the new welterweight champion.
The other middleweight Kamaru Usman mentioned, Robert Whittaker, is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the UFC who would give any good fighter a run for their money. Whittaker also used to compete at welterweight before moving up to middleweight, where he became the champion. 'The Reaper' is currently the number one-ranked middleweight contender and has won three fights in a row since losing to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243.
Kamaru Usman's welterweight reign:
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is one of the most dominant fighters in the company's history. He is currently riding the second-longest winning streak ever, at 14, which is also the longest active winning streak. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has not lost a single fight since making his debut in the UFC.
Kamaru Usman faced Jorge Masvidal for a second time at UFC 261 on April 24, 2021. The champion wanted to give the challenger a fair shot at the title after 'Gamebred' stepped up on six days' notice to save the main event of UFC 251. Masvidal was outpointed by Usman to a decision victory in their first fight, but he claimed he could beat the champion with a full fight camp.
Kamaru Usman silenced all the doubters by knocking Jorge Masvidal out with a spectacular second-round KO in their rematch at UFC 261. Now, many fans are interested in finding out who Usman will fight next. UFC president Dana White has stated that number one-ranked welterweight Colby Covington is next in line for a title shot. Kamaru Usman, however, has reiterated time and again that the welterweights aren't showing him anything worthy of his attention.
He famously said in his interview with ESPN that he beat everyone in the top five of the division (except for Wonderboy) and is coming around to lap them. Usman reiterated this at the UFC 261 pre-fight press conference.
Right now, Kamaru Usman comfortably sits atop the welterweight division as the undisputed champion and looks to be at his dominant best.
It will be interesting to see what he takes up next, and which fighter manages to challenge him. Who do you think will be Kamaru Usman's toughest challenge? Tell us in the comments!