Kamaru Usman has called out Khamzat Chimaev, suggesting that he may be open to moving up in weight to bring the fight to fruition. Dana White recently weighed in on the potential matchup, sharing that he is open to the bout, as long as it is not at a catchweight.
During a recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show, the UFC President was asked about the possibility of the two meeting, responding:
“What I hate about that fight and calling him out, Usman’s calling him out, but 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 can talk about it, but trying to fight him at a catchweight, I’m not interested in.”
Check out Dana White’s comments on Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev below:
While Khamzat Chimaev had spent over two years fighting at welterweight, he was unable to work his way into the title picture while Kamaru Usman held the belt. ‘Borz’ was reportedly next in line for a title opportunity prior to ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ losing the title at UFC 278. It is unclear if the former welterweight champion will make the move to middleweight, or if the No.3-ranked welterweight will still be able to make 170 pounds.
What did Kamaru Usman say about facing Khamzat Chimaev?
Following a dominant run as welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman is currently in a tough position with very few opponents that make sense. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ recently teased a potential bout with undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev. Speaking with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, the No.1-ranked welterweight stated:
“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom… I’m kind of in a place where I’m having fun with it. What’s the biggest, funnest, most intense fight that really makes me feel that? That’s the fight right there. That could headline a pay-per-view.”
Usman teased potentially moving up to middlewight, adding:
“He’s a fighter and I’m a fighter. I fight these guys heart, not their weight. I’ve been able to deal with middleweights and somtimes light heavyweights in the gym… If he wants a shot at the welterweight strap, you kind of have to give a little bit and show I can get down there and do it, but if it’s up a weight, potentially.”
Usman added that he was unable to fight Chimaev while holding the belt as ‘Borz’ was never next in line. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ claimed that he has more freedom to pick his opponents now that he is no longer champion. He noted that there aren’t many fights that make sense.
Check out Kamaru Usman’s comments on Khamzat Chimaev below (starting at the 15:20 mark):