One of the most talked-about unsigned fights in recent weeks involves a potential clash between former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and undefeated two-division threat Khamzat Chimaev, and it’s a matchup UFC president Dana White said he could potentially book, but only as a middleweight bout.
Usman, who lost his title to Leon Edwards, then lost to the Englishman again in the rematch, finds himself in a tricky position in a crowded welterweight division. But, despite not having an obvious matchup to take at the top of the division, “The Nigerian Nightmare” suggested a bout with Chimaev could work.
“As crazy as it is to say, I’m still growing in the sport. So, I’m excited to see what’s next,” Usman told ESPN.
“I think Leon needs to definitely keep defending that belt and myself, I’m No. 1 in the world in that division. I think it’s who’s No. 2? Colby.
“They’re gonna fight and No. 3 is Khamzat. So, I think a fight with myself and Khamzat – boom. And if he (Edwards) keeps winning, I think that’s the fourth fight, 100 percent.”
The one issue with that plan is Chimaev’s issues with the scale. Chimaev’s welterweight main event bout with Nate Diaz at UFC 279 was scrapped when he came in 7.5 pounds over the allowable limit for the bout. That incident seems to have convinced White that Chimaev’s fighting future in the UFC belongs in the middleweight division.
Speaking on The Jim Rome Show, White was asked a bout potential clash between Usman and Chimaev, and responded, “What I hate about that fight and him calling him out, Usman is calling him out at a catchweight. I don’t do catchweights, I don’t like catchweights. Catchweights mean nothing. They mean absolutely nothing.
“If he wants to move up to 185 and fight him, we could talk about it. But trying to fight him at a catchweight, I’m not interested.”