Thursday, May 6, 2021

Kamaru Usman Is Lapping The Field En Route To Welterweight GOAT Status

Kamaru Usman said in the lead-up to his UFC 261 rematch against Jorge Masvidal that he was lapping the field and Masvidal was the first one he was passing, which is true.

Since competing on The Ultimate Fighter, Usman has looked like a problem for the welterweight division. He ran through the show and submitted Hayder Hassan in the finale to win the season. Usman followed that up with a decision victory over Leon Edwards and then picked up big wins over Sean Strickland, Sergio Moraes, and Warlley Alves among others.

However, as he was making his way up the welterweight ranks, not many people wanted to fight him as he was so well-rounded. That forced Usman to think about retiring, but “The Nigerian Nightmare” kept fighting and dominated Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, and then Tyron Woodley to win the belt.

After he won the title, many thought it would be a long time until he lost his belt. and that has held true. He scored a fifth-round TKO over Colby Covington, a decision over Masvidal, a TKO win over Gilbert Burns, and a KO over Masvidal on Saturday.

After his latest win, many wondered if Usman is getting close to passing Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight GOAT. And like it or not, he may have already passed the Canadian.

Usman passed St-Pierre for the most consecutive wins at welterweight after his UFC 258 win over Burns. He also became the second fighter in UFC history to start 14-0 with the promotion and has the longest active winning streak in the UFC. His 14-fight win streak is also tied for the second-longest in company history only behind Anderson Silva’s 16.

Kamaru Usman
“The Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman

All those records are hard to deny, but many point to St-Pierre’s title defenses as to why he remains the GOAT. He did defend his title nine times while Usman is only at four. However, the Canadian only needed two UFC fights to earn his first title shot against Matt Hughes, Usman, meanwhile, needed nine UFC fights because people didn’t want to fight him.

Dana White also believes Usman is the welterweight GOAT as he continues to dominate all the top contenders.

“Yeah, I just think if you look at what this guy has done. Every time he fights he looks better and better. He’s literally fought everybody out there, and now he’s going for a second run on these guys. And the fight with him and Colby Covington is one of the best fights I’ve ever seen,” White said to TSN.

“This division is stacked with killers right now. And like I said, the fight with him and Colby Covington,” White continued. “Love him or hate him, he’s one of the best fighters in the world. He’s a very, very good fighter and that fight was incredible. Both guys had to dig deep in that fight. It was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen, ever.”

Usman, as White says, is fighting killers and has beaten most of them once already. He also has done it with ease, as besides the Covington fight, he only lost one round to Edwards, defeated Sean Strickland 30-26, beat Demain Maia 49-46, beat Rafael dos Anjos 50-43 on one scorecard, defeated Tyron Woodley 50-44 and beat Masvidal 50-45. It’s not only the fact Usman has the win streak to back up his GOAT claim, it’s the fact he has dominated his opponents.

Kamaru Usman has also never lost in the UFC, something St-Pierre can’t say. Although some may hold the Canadian above the current champ in GOAT talk, there is no question Usman has already or is about to surpass St-Pierre as the welterweight GOAT. If Usman can beat Covington again, and then defend his belt against Leon Edwards and Stephen Thompson, it would be hard to deny him of his claim as the best to ever do it at 170-pounds inside the Octagon.

Do you think Kamaru Usman is the welterweight GOAT?