Kamaru Usman thinks a fight between him and former lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov would be the biggest in company history, but doesn’t think it will ever come to fruition.
The welterweight champion is coming off his fourth title defense, handing Jorge Masvidal the first knockout loss of his career. While Dana White has said that Colby Covington will be next in line for a title opportunity, the list of true contenders should Usman once again claim victory over ‘Chaos’ is beginning to look a little thin.
One man who could potentially pose a threat to Usman’s reign is the recently retired Nurmagomedov. He reportedly told White that he would only came back if he saw something “spectacular,” and it’s hard to frame Usman’s knockout as anything other than that.
While the champion is intrigued by the match-up and believes it would be the biggest in the history of the UFC, he told TMZ Sports that he doesn’t see it ever coming together.
“It absolutely would be the biggest fight in UFC history,” Usman said. “The problem is, it wouldn’t happen. That’s just hypothetical… and I’ve lost faith in this one as well. I think you have more of a chance of making Kamaru Usman and Georges St-Pierre happen before Kamaru Usman and Khabib Nurmagomedov. That one just won’t happen.”
Usman said that his performance against Masvidal will actually act as a deterrent for a St-Pierre fight. In fact, he believes his recent tear has a number of fighters second guessing their desire to step into the octagon with him.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of people in this line saying, ‘We want this guy,’” Usman continued. “There’s not a lot of people. More power to Georges. Georges is doing wonderful things, amazing things. I’m impressed, I’m so happy for him. Right now, I’ve said it before, I’m just blessed to be in this time, to really be maximizing my potential and just taking it in full stride. So, I’m blessed and I’m thankful. But these guys know that they definitely need to be worried, because you give me adequate time, everybody will be hurt.”
There is one last fighter who could potentially come out of retirement to challenge Usman for his welterweight throne: Nick Diaz. While it’s been over 6 years since the older Diaz brother last stepped into the octagon, many think he has the tools to cause Usman trouble. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ said he isn’t looking past Diaz just because of his lay-off and sounded genuinely intrigued by the idea of facing him one day.
“We don’t know (how Diaz is going to look)”, Usman said. “At the end of the day, if he got everything in order and he’s able to compete, that’s always a fun fight. Nick Diaz. Imagine, Nick Diaz at the top of the bill once more. Nick Diaz fighting for the title. That’s a humungous fight. Hopefully gets his faculties and everything in order, and if he’s able to do that, Nick is able to come in and do something spectacular… Of course, that’s always a fun fight.”
Is Kamaru Usman vs Khabib Nurmagomedov the biggest fight the UFC could make?