Reigning UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman continues to find himself linked with a title defense against former two-weight promotional champion, Conor McGregor, however, has warned the Dubliner from making a welterweight move, insisting the 33-year-old does not need the type of beating he would dish out to him at this stage of his career.
Kamaru Usman, who most recently landed his fifth successful defense of the welterweight title back in November at Madison Square Garden – handing former interim titleholder and two-time foe, Colby Covington a unanimous decision loss in the main event of UFC 268.
Kamaru Usman holds other title defense wins over both Jorge Masvidal, and Gilbert Burns
Yet to return since, Auchi native, Usman underwent surgery to address a ligament issue in his right hand following the victory over Covington, however, is expected to return to the Octagon by July for his next title outing.
Trevor Wittman trainee, Kamaru Usman has all but been booked to rematch the surging #3 ranked, Leon Edwards next in the summer, with the promotion currently targeting a UFC 276 pairing between the duo on July 2. during International Fight Week.
However, despite the fact Kamaru Usman is all but signed to fight Edwards next – the incoming title challenger’s management stablemate, McGregor has thrown his name into the hat recently to fight Usman in the future, in a bid to become the first three-weight champion in the antiquity of the UFC.
“I believe myself versus (Kamaru) Usman for the 170lb title for my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute,” Conor McGregor said. “I’ve gotten myself down to a lightweight frame, but I’m big now. I feel big. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy.”
“Coming back after a gruesome injury, I do not want to deplete myself,” Conor McGregor explained. There’s no need to deplete myself. And I feel confident against Usman – a jab-happy, sloppy orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever. What’s he gonna do? Where’s the danger here? I don’t see a danger with him.”
Addressing speculation linking him with a title offing against former undisputed lightweight and featherweight kingpin, McGregor, Usman insisted that the type of beating he would inflict on the Crumlin native would not be ideal in this stage of McGregor’s career.
“Conor (McGregor) is in a state of his life to the position to where he’s just all about talk,” Kamaru Usman told SportBible. “It’s just all talk, all talk. And I don’t want to be in that position. He’s a big enough star, yes, of course, that would be great. That’s a quick challenge. But I just don’t think it’s good for him. The way that he approaches the game, and it’s not good for him to take the type of beating that he would take from me. It’s not great for him.”
“I think he should just stick to what he’s doing and find something to do that’s going to help him that’s going to give him that peace and satisfaction,” Kamaru Usman continued. “By wanting to fight a guy like myself or champions like myself, it’s not good for Conor McGregor.”
McGregor has been sidelined since July of last year where he suffered a fractured tibia in the main event of UFC 264 against three-time opponent, former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier.
Attempting to snap a two-fight losing skid in his next outing, McGregor – who has been chomping at the bit for a July return to competition, has been earmarked for a fall comeback by promotional leader, Dana White – who also claimed that a fight between the Dublin striker and Usman would be “interesting”.
“Yeah, it’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that,” Dana White said. “He’s coming into (Las) Vegas, we’re getting together and we’re gonna talk. We’ll see what’s next… Any Conor (McGregor) fight is good, money-wise.”