UFC 251 weigh in results Usman vs Masvidal

Kamaru Usman calls for main event fight against Khamzat Chimaev: ‘I’m kind of in a place now where I’m having fun with it’

Kamaru Usman believes a fight against Khamzat Chimaev makes sense for his next appearance.

Usman is on a two-fight losing skid having dropped back-to-back fights to Leon Edwards to lose his belt and then trying to reclaim it. After the second straight loss, many wondered what would be next for Usman as some thought he may retire but he said he would continue fighting and now eyes a fight against Chimaev.

“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom,” Usman told ESPN. “I’m kind of in a place now where I’m having fun with it, and what’s the biggest, funnest, most intense fight that really makes me feel something? That’s a fight right there. That could headline a pay-per-view.”

Although Usman is interested in facing Chimaev, the Swede is likely moving up to middleweight, but the former welterweight champ isn’t ruling out going to 185lbs to face him.

“He’s a fighter and I’m a fighter at the end of the day,” Usman said. “I fight these guys heart, 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.”

If Kamaru Usman doesn’t get the Khamzat Chimaev fight, he says a matchup against Stephen Thompson makes sense as the two have always been on a collision course. Or, perhaps a matchup against McGregor, but Usman says his focus is still on getting the fourth fight with Edwards and becoming UFC champ again.

“There aren’t a ton [of interesting] fights. I’m being honest with you,” Usman said. “[Chimaev] is No. 1, biggest one out there. [Thompson] is the last guy from my era who I haven’t fought. We were kind of on a collision course and kept missing each other. That’s an intriguing fight. A crazy style to deal with. And a crazy one, Conor has always said he wanted a third title. When I was champion, you can’t just waltz up, skip everybody and fight for the belt. You have to show some legitimacy. What’s better legitimacy than fighting the No. 1 guy in the division?”

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