Kamaru Usman successfully defended his welterweight title for the second time at UFC 251. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has now started off at an impressive 12-0 underneath the UFC banner, joining a short list of just two other fighters in the promotion’s history to have the same impressive start to their UFC career: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Anderson Silva.
Given the impressive statistic, Usman (like many before him) would now like the opportunity to test himself against Georges St-Pierre. Speaking to TMZ Sports (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), the current UFC welterweight champion made his case for a fight with GSP.
“Honestly, I would have to say Georges St-Pierre,” Usman responded when asked who his dream fight choice would be. “Right now we’re tied for the record- most consecutive wins in the welterweight division – and Georges is a tough guy, Georges is a legend. Georges is a guy who has put his time in and is considered one of the best and that’s where I aim to be. Georges can still do it. He proved it, what, two years ago when he came back, that he can still do it. And I feel that he’s still able to do it. He’s still able to come in and be that opponent where people are unsure. Like, ‘You know what? We don’t know if Usman’s got this one.’ I think Georges St-Pierre can be that guy and that’s what I’m looking for. Those are what champions are made of. When you get that feeling, ‘I’m not sure. This one’s a tough one. I don’t know how this one is gonna go but I’m gonna damn well go out there and compete and see what happens.’ I think Georges St-Pierre can be that guy and if Georges wants to do it, Georges can get it too.”
Before officially retiring, St-Pierre had one of the greatest comebacks’ the sport had ever seen. After successfully defending his title for the eighth time, GSP unexpectedly walked away from the UFC. He would return four years later to move up in weight and win the middleweight title against Michael Bisping.
St-Pierre has not fought since, and has recently said only a ‘legacy ‘ fight against Khabib would be enough to draw him out of retirement. Otherwise, he’s content with how his career has turned out. Usman seems to agree, but would be more than happy to accept the fight if it came his way.
“Georges knows what he’s done with his legacy – He’s cemented his legacy. He’s put in the time, he’s put in the work, and that’s why he sits at the top as one of the best ever. So I’d love to test myself. I’m a martial artist just like he was a martial artist and if he still has some fire burning in that oven, let’s test it out. Let’s go out and see if he can still do it.”
At this point in time, it’s very unlikely GSP will return to fight Usman. But for the 33 year old, he’s prepared to face anyone the UFC sends his way.
“If it is, it is. I don’t discriminate when it comes to an opponent- That’s one thing that the company, you can quote me on that. I don’t say ‘No’ to anybody. If the company feels like that’s the next guy or if it’s GSP or if it’s Leon Edwards, then that’s the next guy. My job as the undisputed champion is to stay champion. So whoever they put in front of me, their dreams of being champion quickly turn into nightmares.”
Following Usman’s win over Jorge Masvidal in the UFC 251 main event, UFC president Dana White stated that Gilbert Burns will get the next title shot at ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’.
Would you be interested in seeing Kamaru Usman vs Georges St-Pierre?