Friday, December 9, 2022

Usman Explains Why He’s Not “Chasing” GSP For WW GOAT Status

UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman has denied the narrative that he’s chasing the great Georges St-Pierre for the greatest welterweight of all time status.

Usman’s legacy as one of the best to have ever graced the Octagon was further cemented at UFC 268 last weekend. Inside Madison Square Garden, “The Nigerian Nightmare” successfully defended his belt for the fifth time. Having defeated Colby Covington at UFC 245 in 2019, the champ ran it back with “Chaos” after breezing past two challenges from Jorge Masvidal and one from former teammate Gilbert Burns.

In Saturday’s main event, Usman and Covington battled for five rounds. Despite looking close to an early finish, the 170-pound king had to settle for a unanimous decision after the former interim champ rallied in the final three rounds.

Has Usman Surpassed St-Pierre?

With his latest defense, Usman extended his winning streak to 19, increased his unbeaten UFC record to 15-0, and moved one step closer to surpassing Anderson Silva’s record UFC streak.

With that in mind, coupled with the level of competition he’s faced and beaten, many are beginning to call for Usman to be considered the greatest welterweight of all time. Following UFC 268, UFC President Dana White suggested he’s earned that title, and is well on his way to competing for the overall GOAT status in the sport.

The consensus for years has been that Georges St-Pierre sits on the historical 170-pound throne. The Canadian legend is a former two-time welterweight champ, and defended the belt nine times between 2008 and 2013. During that period, “Rush” defeated names like Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy, Thiago Alves, and BJ Penn.

With Usman surpassing his welterweight winning streak and, according to many, defeating tougher competition, St-Pierre appears to have a challenger to his 170-pound GOAT claim. However, speaking at the UFC 268 Weigh-In Show prior to his fifth defense, the current champ claimed he’s followed a very different path to GSP, and isn’t chasing him for top spot.

“I hate the way that it’s being put that I’m chasing GSP. I’m not chasing GSP. GSP had maybe four fights before he got the title shot. I had to take the long back roads, back door, back alley in order to get that title shot. So I’m not chasing GSP. Look at his body of work, it was spectacular and I consider him one of the greats and look at my body of work. It’s right up there as well. I’m not placing that greatest of all time [tag] on myself. By the time I’m said and done with my career, I’m going to let you guys do that.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

While we’ve almost certainly seen the last of St-Pierre inside the Octagon, Usman looks as good as ever and is seemingly far from retirement. Having defeated the top contender twice, “The Nigerian Nightmare” will likely now turn his attention to Leon Edwards should the Englishman defeat Masvidal at UFC 269 next month. Beyond that, surging contender Vicente Luque could be in line for a shot, whilst new sensation Khamzat Chimaev is looking to experience a rapid rise to the top.

Do you think Kamaru Usman is the greatest welterweight of all time?