Add reigning UFC welterweight champion and current men’s pound-for-pound No. 1 Kamaru Usman to the growing list of fighters who’ve been blown away by rising UFC prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
Chimaev extended his professional MMA record to a perfect 10-0 (4-0 UFC) with a vicious submission victory over Li Jingliang at UFC 267 last Saturday, and ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was seriously impressed.
“First and foremost, he’s done a tremendous job with the opposition he’s been presented with. No shame in that. He’s doing great. I like it. I love all the hype that’s been there. Let’s all be honest, life is not fair. We learn that as kids. Life isn’t fair, so I know some guys get a faster push, some guys don’t. It is what it is. More power to him. He’s doing a phenomenal job with the position that he’s being put in. Hats off to him,” Usman said (via MMAFighting.com).
As far as a potential welterweight matchup with Chimaev is concerned, Usman says the Chechnyan-born Swedish fighter will have to be fast-tracked to a title shot because he’s thinking of retiring soon and going out on top like Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“As far as me (fighting him), you know I’m in a point in life to where I understand how much this takes from you. I’ve been nine weeks now away from my daughter, and FaceTime does help, but it doesn’t do it justice, as far as being there each and every day. So obviously I don’t know how much longer I’m willing to do this. They have to make sense for me now. If he’s able to get there, then we’ll talk about it at that point.”
“I want to be that champion who does it all,” he continued. “I want to do it on my own time, like Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. I know a lot of people have been throwing a lot of shade, saying a lot of things about Khabib leaving when he wanted to leave. That’s how you do it. Even Georges St-Pierre, that’s how you do it.
“You leave when you want to. You don’t let the sport retire you. So yeah when I feel like that time’s there, it’s time for me to go.”
Usman is set to defend his welterweight title this Saturday against Colby Covington in the UFC 268 main event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He previously beat ‘Chaos’ via fifth-round TKO at UFC 245.
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