Former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is up for one of his biggest tests of his long career.
On just nine days notice, he accepted to move up a weight class to take on the undefeated superstar Khamzat Chimaev in a middleweight co-main event at UFC 294. Chimaev was supposed to clash with Paulo Costa but the fight fell through due to the Brazilian dealing with a medical issue.
“Ain’t nothing new, fighters fight,” Usman said about taking the tought fight and fly to Abu Dhabi on short notice.
“He’s very skilled. He’s strong, he’s big. He’s fast, he can wrestle, he can grapple, he can strike. He has everything,” Usman said about his opponent. “But so do I.”At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. Everyone feels invincible until someone pokes that balloon.”
Kamaru Usman wants a title shot
The former welterweight champion has not fought since he failed to win back his welterweight title from Leon “Rocky” Edwards at UFC 286 in March.
However, if he wins against Chimaev, he will make a strong case for a title shot at middleweight.
“I mean, it’s a no-brainer,” Kamaru said, but claimed he will never ever look past an opponent like Khamzat. “I’ve got a mountain in front of me that I have to scale. We’ll get through that first and then we’ll worry about what’s next.”