Kamaru Usman: ‘I do consider that proper now I’m pound-for-pound, I’m the most effective fighter on the planet’
Kamaru Usman received’t name himself the best of all time however the most effective proper now’s a unique story.
The welterweight champion capped off UFC 261 on Saturday night time with a jaw-dropping knockout within the second spherical to complete Jorge Masvidal whereas defending his title for the fourth consecutive time. The one motive the rematch with Masvidal occurred was as a result of Usman was not personally glad together with his efficiency of their first assembly — a battle he received in a lopsided determination.
This time round, Usman blasted Masvidal with a right-hand that despatched the veteran contender all the way down to the bottom in a heap as “The Nigerian Nightmare” additionally prolonged his unbeaten streak within the UFC to 14 consecutive fights.
Afterwards, Usman wasn’t inquisitive about touting his profession accomplishments when stacked up towards different all-time greats however as a substitute he referred to as for some recognition as the most effective fighter on the planet at this time second.
“That’s as much as them, that’s lower than me,” Usman mentioned on the UFC 261 post-fight press convention when requested about his standing as the best welterweight in historical past. “I simply have to proceed to do what I do and that’s dominate each particular person. That’s my final three opponents and I’ve completed all three of them. I don’t fear about that. I take it a battle at a time.
“If folks wish to contemplate me the most effective, then they will. However as of proper now, I do consider that proper now I’m pound-for-pound, I’m the most effective fighter on the planet.”
Past his title defenses, Usman has additionally taken out each fighter thrown in his path earlier than turning into a champion as he actually needed to earn his first shot at UFC gold. He was excellent with a 9-0 resume as he climbed up the welterweight ranks whereas incomes wins over Leon Edwards, Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos.
After dominating former champion Tyron Woodley for 5 rounds, Usman then broke Colby Covington’s jaw in his first title protection, he completed former teammate Gilbert Burns and now holds two wins over Masvidal.
Based mostly on these sorts of statistics, it’s getting tougher and tougher to argue towards Usman receiving consideration as the most effective pound-for-pound fighter in all of combined martial arts.
“I’ve large, large targets for myself,” Usman mentioned. “I wish to see it actually, on Monday, pound-for-pound proper now I’m the most effective fighter on the planet. I simply wish to see that on Monday.
“I’m essentially the most dominant champion within the UFC, interval. Like I mentioned, subsequent week, I wish to see that pound-for-pound listing. As a result of I feel proper now I’m the most effective pound-for-pound.”
Based mostly on the present UFC rankings, the one particular person forward of Usman proper now’s former mild heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who reclaimed the highest spot after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from competitors.
Forward of the occasion on Saturday night time, Usman informed MMA Combating that primarily based on lifetime achievements, he completely provides Jones his due however he believes proper now he’s the most effective on the planet no matter weight class.
“With the entire pound-for-pound scenario, so far as proper now actively combating, I consider that I’m pound-for-pound the most effective fighter on the planet proper now,” Usman mentioned.
“For those who’re speaking physique of labor, completely it’s loopy once you’re trying on the physique of labor that Jon Jones has put in, it’s ridiculous. He’s for certain pound-for-pound however proper now actively combating, I consider with the absence of Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I consider I’m the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.”
So far as future competitors goes, Usman is likely to be taking a look at a number of potential rematches after UFC president Dana White already declared Covington because the No. 1 contender within the division. There’s additionally a possible battle looming towards Leon Edwards if he will get previous Nate Diaz at UFC 262 in Might.
For his half, Usman says the most important impediment in his profession would be the man within the mirror as a result of there’s no different welterweight who’s actually going to problem him.
“Myself,” Usman answered when requested about his hardest opponent. “Once I go on the market and do what I do, I dominate all people. That’s why I really feel like I’m the pound-for-pound finest fighter. I dominate everybody. So long as I’m in there and I’m current, I am going on the market and I do my factor and I dominate everybody.”