White Dishes On Usman vs. Chimaev
Shortly after UFC Vegas 73 wrapped last Saturday night (May 20, 2023) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president, Dana White, fielded questions from the media as usual, and shed light on several hot topics.
Aside from updating us on the Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler fight, as well as Aljamain Sterling vs Sean O’Malley, the outspoken head honcho of the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion on the planet gave a very important update regarding a potential scrap between former UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, and the division’s boogie man, Khamzat Chimaev.
“It’s a fight that Usman wants, that’s no secret. Usman literally came to the office to lobby for that fight. I told him I love him. Usman is one of the best guys we’ve ever worked with. I love working with the guy. Look at all the things he’s accomplished,” he said via MMA Junkie.
Chimaev and Usman have been setting Twitter ablaze with their social media beef, leading fans to believe that a fight had been signed and soon-to-be delivered. But according to White the fight is far from a done deal, hinting that weight is the biggest issue.
“I don’t do catchweights. Don’t do it. So, you know how Khamzat is. If you talk sh*t to Khamzat, he’s going to go right at it with you and doesn’t care who he fights and all that stuff. I don’t know. Obviously, we’ve been making a lot of announcements lately, we haven’t made that announcement yet because we don’t have the fight done yet. But we’re working on stuff for Khamzat.”
As for Usman, he has only competed in the 170-pound division and is coming off back-to-back championship losses to current division king, Leon Edwards, which were preceded by his five consecutive title defenses.
A win over Chimaev would surely put him right back in the thick of the championship picture, but a third straight defeat would leave his future looking a bit murky. For Chimaev, taking out “The Nigerian Nightmare” will surely put him at the front of the championship line.
In what weight class, however, remains to be seen.