Sunday, January 23, 2022

“Disrespected” Kamaru Usman Calls P4P Rankings A Popularity Contest

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has a message for the UFC rankings panel about the integrity of the pound-for-pound rankings.

Kamaru Usman is undefeated in the UFC with 13 fights and 13 victories. He now holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the welterweight division, and the number of rounds he has lost in the promotion can be counted on one hand. Some of the notable names on Usman’s impressive résumé include Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Leon Edwards, and several others. Despite all the information above, Usman only just recently cracked the top 5 of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. 

Kamaru Usman Demands Respect From UFC Rankings Panel

Immediately after his victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman demanded respect. When asked who it is that Usman felt disrespected by, he was swift to clarify who all he was referring to and also put special emphasis on those in charge of the UFC rankings.

“Everyone,” Usman responded at the UFC 258 post-fight press conference when asked who he felt disrespected by. “The critics, the media, everyone. Not that I really give a shit, but I give a shit. I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit. So put some respect on my name.

UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. Credit: MMA Junkie

“Like that pound-for-pound list is not a popularity contest,” Usman continued. “I haven’t really lost rounds in here. I control what goes on inside that cage. And I feel just because I’m not the loudest guy in the room, I’m not the most braggadocious or I don’t get in trouble outside, I’m not in headlines all the time, let’s be honest, they kinda disrespect me in a sense. That pound-for-pound list is not a popularity contest. I need to move up on that list.”

With Usman’s win-loss record, round won/loss ratio, and the names on his résumé, one might guess that the fighter with such stats would be ranked in the top two or three on the P4P list. But Usman is currently sitting at #5 on the pound-for-pound rankings list behind Stipe Miocic, Israel Adesanya, Jon Jones, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Those are all names who have proven to also be at the highest level of the sport, so it’s a matter of opinion if Usman should be ranked higher and if his placement is due to disrespect and/or lacking popularity. 

After his stoppage victory over Burns, though, it’s fair to say that the #5 spot would be the absolute lowest Usman could possibly go. We will find out in this week’s rankings report if the panel gives Kamaru Usman the amount of respect he feels he deserves.

Where do you think Kamaru Usman should be ranked on the P4P list?

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