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Ex-UFC Champion Eyes Usman Middleweight Clash

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Former UFC champion, Robert Whittaker, has expressed interest in a fight with Kamaru Usman in the middleweight division following the Nigerian Nightmare’s third loss in a row.

Usman’s last fight was against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 which he lost by majority decision.

Now the former welterweight champion is pondering on whether to stay in the middleweight division or go back to welterweight.

Prior to his clash with Chimaev, Usman had expressed a willingness to explore the middleweight division with plans to win both the middleweight and welterweight titles. And Robert Whittaker showed interest in fighting Usman in the welterweight division, urging him to stay.

“Is he gonna stay at middleweight? That fight interests me, I’d fight a middleweight Usman. I don’t think it’s a bad fight to have, makes things interesting and exciting. I am here for it. I hope he (Usman) stays,” Whittaker said on his MMA Arcade Podcast.

Whittaker firmly believes it’s a worthy contest for someone of Usman’s stature, who has held the welterweight title for an extended period. He also emphasised the need for Usman to be given a chance at the top of the middleweight ranks without having to prove himself in lower-tier matches due to his former status at pound-for-pound king.

Whittaker shares a somewhat similar position with Usman as both fighters are looking to rebound from recent setbacks. Whittaker had his title hopes dashed by a second-round TKO loss to South African Dricus Du Plessis. However, Du Plessis backed out of challenging former champion Israel Adesanya due to injury. This unusual turn of events led to Sean Strickland, an unexpected top-five contender, claiming the title in his first-ever title fight in the UFC.

After an extensive period of reigning undefeated, Usman has now lost three fights in a row. Usman took the fight against Chimaev on 10 days’ notice and lost the fight via decision.

Reflecting on the fight’s outcome, Usman contemplated how things might have turned out differently if he had the benefit of a full training camp.

“I think coming off the couch in 10 days and fighting a young, hungry bull like that, I didn’t trust my shape. I’m a championship fighter, I say give me a couple extra rounds, I think the world knows what that result might be,” he said.


Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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