Usman has declared that he remains open to taking on Chimaev in an upcoming bout because he believes it's going to be entertaining for fans of the sport. He preferred a catchweight since he wasn't certain whether it would occur at welterweight or middleweight.
Dana White, on the contrary, is eager to talk about a prospective matchup between rising star Khamzat Chimaev and former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, but with one stipulation.
On The Jim Rowe Show on Thursday, White made an appearance and was questioned about the showdown and its likelihood of taking place. He utterly rejected the notion. The UFC president asserts that he has no desire in staging catchweight matches. Instead, he asserts that Usman should go up to middleweight to take on Chimaev if he truly desires the fight.
“What I hate about that fight and [Usman] calling him out, Usman is calling him out at a catchweight — I don’t do catchweights, I don’t like catchweights,” White said.
“Catchweights mean nothing. They mean absolutely nothing.”
“If [Usman] wants to move up to 185 and fight [Chimaev], we could talk about it. But trying to fight him at a catchweight, I’m not interested in.”
Usman has lost his last two fights against current 170-pound champion Leon Edwards; first, Usman was defeated by a decision in their rematch at UFC 286 in March after suffering a devastating fifth-round knockout to lose the welterweight championship.
Chimaev has been absent since defeating Kevin Holland by first-round submission at UFC 279 in September. "Borz" failed to scale by 7.5 pounds for his anticipated main event bout against Nate Diaz, which forced the rescheduling of many events. The 29-year-old intends to participate in the UFC's comeback to Abu Dhabi in October but is anticipated to make the jump up to middleweight soon.
It's unclear at this time whether Usman intends to increase his weight, but doing so is the sole means by which White will be able to compete against Chimaev.