By Peter Akinbo.
Former UFC champion Kamaru Usman has said he will like to take on the unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev next as he chases a fourth meeting with current welterweight king Leon Edwards.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ lost his welterweight title to Edwards via fifth-round KO in August 2022. Usman then tried to reclaim the title against ‘Rocky’ in March 2023 in London. However, Edwards emerged victorious yet again, this time through a majority decision, leaving their rivalry at 2-1 in favour of the Briton.
In his latest interview with ESPN MMA, Usman was asked about what needed to happen for a fourth fight between him and Edwards to materialise. He responded, saying Edwards needed to keep defending his welterweight belt, then he indicated that he’d like to face and beat Chimaev to earn a title shot against Edwards.
“I think a fight with myself and Khamzat (Chimaev), boom. And if he (Leon Edwards) keeps winning, I think that that’s a fourth fight for sure,” he said.
“For me, now, I’m just kind of in a place where it’s like, I’m having fun with it. I’m having fun. So, it’s like, ‘What’s the biggest, funnest, most intense fight that really makes me feel that?’ And, you know, there’s a couple fights. That (Chimaev) is the fight right there.”
Meanwhile, Edwards hasn’t completely shut the door on a possible fourth showdown against longtime rival Usman.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Edwards highlighted that he’d love to see whether Usman was still as hungry as he was earlier in his career. ‘Rocky’ believes Usman’s accomplishments in MMA might have negatively affected his desire to achieve more.
Edwards, who’s expected to defend his title against Colby Covington next, stated, “He (Usman) did achieve quite a lot in this sport, so is he as hungry as he used to be to want to go again and go for another run for the title? We’ll see. If he does, then yeah, surely, why not? Let’s see where he’s at.”
Although the Nigerian Nightmare is 1-2 against Edwards, which includes a devastating head kick knockout loss, he still has unfinished business with him, telling ESPN that there was no finality to their trilogy bout.
“I still felt there was no finality to that fight,” Usman said. “I mean, the rest of the world kind of feels like it, but you know, props to him that he has the belt but I need finality. I need you to show me you are better than me from start to finish.”
Edwards and Usman fought through all five rounds of their headliner in March and Rocky walked away with a majority decision.