Greatness seems like something that all professional athletes are striving for. To be the best at what they do takes time, effort, sacrifice, and determination. UFC fighters literally put their bodies on the line in order to win inside the cage.
At this time, the man who is considered the greatest in the UFC is Kamaru Usman. He currently sits atop the UFC pound-for-pound rankings and rules the welterweight division.
Usman is certainly one of the best at 170 pounds to have ever fought in the Octagon, but is he the greatest ever? This seems to be an ongoing conversation whenever a fighter starts to do well. Usman is not concerning himself with this talk and instead is just trying to do his best.
“Everyone’s throwing this, ‘GOAT, GOAT, greatest of all time…’ That’s relative. For me, what I want — and this is why I got into the sport — I’m just a competitive guy… I want to be respected,” Usman said in a recent interview with ESPN. ‘So, when I get in there and I’ve bested everyone, I want you to show me that respect.”
Kamaru Usman Could Be Looking At Different Paths To Continue His Legacy
Usman has been talking about branching out from his division either in boxing or moving up in weight. Success in either one of these ventures could give him the accolades to grow his GOAT status in combat sports. UFC President Dana White doesn’t seem too keen on Usman heading to boxing so maybe a stint in another weight class could be his thing.
Usman has mentioned before that he is not interested in fighting his friend Israel Adesanya, so middleweight is a no-go while he is the champ, but maybe light heavyweight? Usman is open to that prospect.
“So, if I’ve bested everyone in my division, and I said I will skip one (division) so I can prove to you — everyone says pound-for-pound, but that’s just a scenario, ‘If they were the same weight class, could this guy best that guy.’ And I wanna prove that,” he said. “I wanna be able to do that. No one’s ever done it. So, if I can do that, you put whatever title you wanna put on it, but ultimately, I want the respect.”
Usman’s next chance to earn this respect will come this weekend when he takes on Leon Edwards to defend his title at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Do you have Kamaru Usman on your GOAT list?