At UFC 268, Kamaru Usman will headline Madison Square Garden in a rematch for the ages when he battles nemesis Colby Covington. This fight will feature two of the best fighters in the world today meeting once again in the primes of their careers. In fact, if you ask UFC President Dana White, the bout will feature the single best fighter on the planet today in Usman. Speaking with The Daily Telegraph recently, White gave a detailed explanation as to why that is.
“Kamaru Usman, in my opinion, is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world right now,” White began. “If you look at what this guy has done, he’s got four successful title defenses, 14-0, undefeated in the UFC, longest win streak in UFC welterweight history, how about this: His takedown defense is the highest in UFC history. It’s 100 percent! And he fought Colby Covington. The guy has spent 0 time on his back. It’s never happened. He’s never been put on his back.
“Then, you start looking at the people that he’s beat: He beat Masvidal twice, Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley, Rafael dos Anjos, Demian Maia, Leon Edwards, and after this next fight if he can beat Colby Covington, he’ll have beat Colby Covington twice. So imagine the type of pressure that goes along with this type of a record. Every time you go in, the expectations are set higher…
“And now, I’m saying—and I’m right; I’m not wrong—he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.”
As firm as White is in his stance about Usman, the official UFC rankings panel apparently believes there is still plenty to debate. As of yesterday’s latest ranking update, Usman remains ranked #2 on the pound-for-pound list behind Jon Jones despite the fact that Jones has not competed in over a year and a half.
Usman himself believes Jones should be #1 if it were about career achievements. However, in terms of present-day performances and activity, Usman agrees with the UFC boss that he’s the clear choice for #1. When you listen to White break down his reasons why, it becomes difficult to argue against it.
Do you agree with Dana White? Is Kamaru Usman the clear-cut #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now?