clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kamaru Usman’s UFC return delayed (again) — ‘Maybe September’

UFC 258: Usman v Burns Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman competed three times in 2021, racking up consecutive title defenses against Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, and Colby Covington, but it sounds like “The Nigerian Nightmare” will compete just once in 2022.

And not at UFC 278 on Aug. 20.

“I know somebody said he’s fighting Aug. 20th and that was completely not true, because he’s still trying out his hand,” manager Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “He’ll fight 2022, 100 percent. Maybe in August, maybe September, maybe Madison Square Garden, we do not know yet. UFC has given us the laid-back saying, ‘Hey, when you’re ready, let us know.’ And we’re gonna let them know. And I appreciate that because promoter always pressuring you to fight. I think they respect him so much and they’re not pressuring him and everything is good.”

Usman is recovering from surgery to repair a recent hand injury and is expected to rematch No. 2-ranked title contender Leon Edwards upon his return. “The Nigerian Nightmare” bested “Rocky” when they first went to war at the UFC on FOX 17 event back in late 2015.

“I think Kamaru’s been giving fight, after fight, after fight in two months, three months turnaround and I think that man deserves a break,” Abdelaziz continued. “I think this injury is a blessing in disguise. He needs to kind of heal his body and need to focus on himself and his family. But I’ll tell you something, this guy train every day. It doesn’t matter – one hand, one leg, one eye.”

Expect a more definitive timeline over the next few weeks (or longer).

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania