Currently, Usman is dealing with a hand injury that has kept him sidelined since his last bout. That being a November title defense against Colby Covington, which he was victorious in via unanimous decision.
Now, Usman is letting his hand recover from surgery, but with no time frame for his Octagon return just yet. He only barely started testing out the hand lightly earlier this month, and is expected to receive an update from doctors in two weeks.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Usman was asked about how he would feel should the UFC implement an interim 170-pound title in his absence. From the sound of it, “The Nigerian Nightmare” couldn’t care less.
“Well, I don’t really care about any of these guys because I’ve proven who I am. It’s not like, oh, you just got the title, now you’re out for a year or two years. But no, I believe it’s if you’re out for a year then it’s an interim title? I mean, I just put in a year to cement where I am. And let’s be honest, an interim title really just means you’re the #1 contender.
“So I don’t really think anything of it. Everyone knows who the champion is. Everyone knows who the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet is. So that’s all I’m thinking about is my health, and when I can get back in there, and do what I love to do.”
Usman’s tear through the welterweight division has certainly been a dominant one. His list of victories include names such as Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley, Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, Leon Edwards, and so many more.
He is the most dominant champion the division has seen in some time, and could quite possibly go down as the greatest of all time when it’s all said and done. However, he’ll need to get past this injury, and back in the Octagon, before anything else.
What do you make of Kamaru Usman and his indifference to a potential interim welterweight title? Do you think the UFC will pull the trigger on an interim champion? Sound off below!