Former UFC champion Kamaru Usman thinks Khamzat Chimaev is disrespecting the sport with his demands.
The former welterweight champion was open to facing undefeated UFC Swede Khamzat Chimaev, but despite both being interested, the match never took place. Khamzat is now booked to take on Paulo Costa at UFC 294 while Usman feels ready to return to the Octagon after two straight losses to Leon Edwards.
Although Usman was previously willing to face Khamzat, he is no longer interested, and the reason is Khamzat’s behavior in trying to get a match.
– I’m aiming for this year, in the fall, Kamaru Usman said about a return to the UFC cage in an interview with TMZ. We’ll see. I’ve already said, “Hey, I’m ready to fight,” but the thing is, it also has to make sense. Who on the planet disagreed that the Khamzat fight made sense? But the guy who’s been in the UFC for what, two years now? And he’s literally faced five guys, five games, they’ve got you ranked number three. You have met a ranked guy. They have you ranked number three in my division. I’m number one and I say, “OK let’s fight. I will go down and fight you”. It didn’t matter where, but then (Khamzat) says, “No, I don’t want to handle that weight. Come up to middleweight and meet me”.
Khamzat Chimaev is currently ranked fourth in the welterweight division, the division in which Usman was undefeated between 2015-2021 and where he was champion prior to the losses to Edwards. Usman says Khamzat is disrespecting the sport for his weight requirements.
– Wait, so you want to tell me, the former champion, in this weight class, who is ranked No. 1 in the world at that weight, that I have to move up to middleweight to fight? Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? That’s what I’m saying. It is disrespectful to the sport. I even wanted to make it interesting and said, “UFC, you know what? I can run this at catch weight. I give you a catchweight match. You decide the catch weight and I give it to you. And [Chimaev sa,] “Oh no, I can’t do that. Come up to middleweight.”
– So you want me, who has put in the time and done everything in this sport, to move up to middleweight to face you, who has done nothing in this sport, because you are hype? Come on, that didn’t make sense. And it didn’t make sense to the UFC either, so the UFC said (to Khamzat), “You know what? We’ll find someone for you.” I think he has his hands full. If the right Paulo Costa turns up in a game then (Khamzat) will have his hands full.
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