In the world of MMA, there are always exciting matchups being discussed and speculated upon by fans and fighters alike. One potential matchup that has been gaining steam in recent weeks is a main event bout between former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and rising star Khamzat Chimaev.
Usman, who holds an impressive record of 20-3, is widely considered one of the best fighters in the world today. He has dominated the UFC's welterweight division since capturing the title in 2019 and has defended it successfully five times since then. Usman is a well-rounded fighter with excellent striking and grappling skills and is known for his relentless pace and cardio.
Nevertheless, the situation has changed over the past 12 months. Last summer, Leon Edwards banged him out, causing him to concede the title. In March, 'Rocky' defeated him once more by majority decision.
Since his title loss and trilogy bout with Leon Edwards, Usman has been thinking out of the box. The pressure of being a champion has been released which made him lookout for some exciting fights and Khamzat Chimaev is the person he has been targeting.
“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom,” Usman said to ESPN. “I’m kind of in a place now where I’m having fun with it, and what’s the biggest, funniest, most intense fight that really makes me feel something? That’s a fight right there. That could headline a pay-per-view.”
Chimaev burst onto the scene in 2020 with a series of impressive victories, including two wins in the span of just 10 days. He has since become one of the UFC's most hyped prospects, with many pundits and fans predicting big things for him in the future. Chimaev (12-0) is a ferocious striker with a dangerous ground game and has yet to taste defeat in his MMA career.
“He’s a fighter and I’m a fighter at the end of the day,” Usman said. “I fight these guys' hearts, not their weight. I’ve been able to deal with middleweights and light heavyweights in the gym. And 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.”
Since, Chimaev may be making his way up to middleweight sooner rather than later which was also confirmed by UFC President Dana White after struggling to make the scales in his last fight against Kevin Holland at UFC 279, but we can all agree that this fight would be a total firecracker.