Usman is expected to return this summer to defend his welterweight title against Edwards. The fight hasn’t been officially booked or announced yet as Usman continues to recover from hand surgery.
Usman wrapped up 2021 as the UFC‘s pound-for-pound king, with three-straight wins over Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, and Colby Covington. He is undefeated in his UFC tenure and earned the title by beating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235.
Chimaev’s hype train continued to move on the tracks following a win over Burns at UFC 273 last weekend. According to Abdelaziz, Usman is prepared to fight Chimaev after his fight with Edwards.
“Kamaru will never say no to nobody,” Abdelaziz said of Usman in a recent interview with ESPN. “We used to chase people in hotel rooms to fight with people for years. If the UFC says it makes sense, and that’s what they want. But I believe the right guy is Leon Edwards. How could you say no to him? Especially with England becoming a hot market again. But Khamzat is very young. If you want to beat Khamzat, you fight him now. He’s still young in the sport, remember he has just five fights. But I think there’s an upper echelon in the division. There’s everyone else, and then there’s Kamaru.
“Khamzat in one or two more years, he’s going to be very, very hard to beat. Right now he’s human…right now, it’s a big decision. Does the UFC want to push him to a title now? Or not now? Dana’s going to put him in big fights because he has a lot of hype.”
Chimaev has promised to defeat Usman when he gets a title shot in the UFC. He’s also mocked Usman’s call for a boxing fight against Canelo Alvarez in a crossover matchup.
Chimaev moved up eight spots from No. 11 to No. 3 in the latest UFC rankings with the win over Burns. If Usman can defeat Edwards later this year, it appears that a fight with Chimaev may be near the top of their wish list.
Who wins in a matchup between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev?