The current welterweight champion wants to stay active after this recent title defence in UFC 261. But the defending champion does not want to run it back with the number one rank welterweight contender Colby Covington any time soon, according to his manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
Instead of Covington, Usman wants to fight the number seven ranked welterweight, Michael Chiesa, in June.
After Usman’s dominant knockout against Jorge Masvidal in UFC 261, ESPN’s Brett Okimoto spoke to Ali Abdelaziz about his victory and the next plan.
“Kamaru in the last 10 months fought three times, Colby in the last three years, fought three times. After Kamaru destroyed his jaw and disfigured his face. Kamaru went and fought three times, defend against very tough opponents,” said Abdelaziz.
He said that Covington has only had one victory against Tyron Woodley, who Abdelaziz does not believe is in UFC anymore. He also mentioned that Covington is not special now when compared to other contenders like Chiesa, Leon Edwards, and Vicente Luque, as they are on multiple fights winning streak.
Abdelaziz also believes that Usman may go up to middleweight if Marvin Vettori beats Israel Adesanya.
Despite the words of Dana white indicating the next challenger as Covington, Abdelaziz reckons that Usman and UFC will get along easily regarding his next fight.
“Listen, Kamaru earned every right to do what he wants right now. But, we are respectful to Dana and his wishes and we are going to work together regardless.”
“We will make it happen. Kamaru called me yesterday, he said June 12, let us do Michael Chiesa. He asked me who had the longest winning streak in the division in the top five or six, I said Chiesa, he said June 12, (Chiesa) does not have a fight. It does not really matter who. He said let us do Michael Chiesa, ask the UFC if I can fight on June 12. I told the UFC, Kamaru can fight three more times this year.”
UFC 263 will be headlined by the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, as he defends his title against the number three rank Marvin Vettori.