Former UFC champions Kamaru Usman and Robert Whittaker both remain among the sport’s elite, but both are looking for their next opponent after defeats in their last outings. Another former champ, Daniel Cormier, has one suggestion: book them against each other.
Usman stepped up at short notice to take on Khamzat Chimaev in a middleweight bout at UFC 294, and pushed “Borz” to the limit in a bout that saw “The Nigerian Nightmare” grow into the fight as it went the distance.
Whittaker, meanwhile, was stopped by South African contender Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290, as his tilt at his former middleweight title was halted in emphatic fashion by “Stillknocks”.
Speaking on his ESPN show, DC & RC, Cormier suggested the two former champions go head to head in a bout that would draw plenty of attention within the sport as two of the most respected figures on the UFC roster face off in a middleweight matchup.
“I tap in. I tap all the way into this fight,” Cormier said during the “Tap In, or Tap Out” segment of the show.
‘I think it’s a big fight, and I think both of these guys deserve to walk to the Octagon in massive fights, every single time.
“So, if they’re not fighting for the championship, they should be fighting championship level fights. So, I’m all in on Kamaru Usman vs. Robert Whittaker.”
Cormier’s co-host, former Super Bowl-winning NFL player Ryan Clark, agreed.
“I believe it gives Kamaru Usman an opportunity to have a training camp knowing he’ll be fighting at 185,” he said.
“And for Robert Whittaker, it doesn’t make him fight a retread, someone he’s fought already, or have to go down in the rankings to fight a fighter that doesn’t have the cache or resume that deserves a trip in the Octagon with Robert Whittaker.
“Kamaru Usman, you say, ‘I’m here. I’m a player at 185 for the twilight of my career.’”