After a lot of hype was generated over a potential Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman fight, it looks like the bout is no longer being considered by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). That’s a real bummer for fans ... and for Usman, who was looking forward to the match-up as well.
Nevertheless, UFC’s former Welterweight champion is currently in Las Vegas, Nevada, for International Fight Week, and he took part in a fan Q&A event. We haven’t seen much of “The Nigerian Nightmare” since he lost a majority decision rematch to Leon Edwards in March (see official scorecard here), and he updated everyone on what he’s been up to.
“I’m good, I’m just training, falling back into love with my routine of training,” he said. “The last couple of years have been kind of chaotic, you know? Kinda here and there, here and there. I’m falling in love with that routine again.”
As for a potential Khamzat showdown?
“Just like you, I thought I was going to be fighting Khamzat, too!” he exclaimed. “So, y’know, we’ll see what happens. I mean, there’s a lot of logistical things, not necessarily on my end, why it didn’t happen. Like I said, I’m up here, I’m looking good. Feeling good. I’m ready to fight.”
As exciting as it would be to see Chimaev and Usman throw down, there were always issues with booking the pair to fight. Chimaev is set to make his Middleweight debut in October, while Usman is still sitting at 170 pounds. UFC President, Dana White, said from the beginning that there was no way he’d book the two in a Catchweight. And leading into UFC 289, he closed the door on the pairing, calling rumors of the fight “bulls—.”
Now, Jared Cannonier is the rumored frontrunner to fight Khamzat in Abu Dhabi. Will that actually come together? “The Killa Gorilla” is in the right weight class ... and he’s ranked up near the top of the division. It’s a bout that makes a lot more sense if you’re trying to move Chimaev up to a title shot.
But, as Usman said, we’ll have to see what happens.