Kamaru Usman survived a first-round scare against Gilbert Burns to retain his welterweight championship in the main event of UFC 258 on Saturday night.
Usman was clearly rocked by a right hand from Burns early in the first round, but fought back well to secure a third round stoppage at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and recording his 13th straight win in the promotion.
The impressive nature of Usman's streak of victories in the 170-pound division means that comparisons with some of the greats of the sport, including Georges St-Pierre, have already begun.
Usman smashed St-Pierre's record tally of 12 consecutive wins in the welterweight division with his TKO of Burns - and UFC president Dana White believes that 'The Nigerian Nightmare' has now surpassed GSP in terms of accomplishments.
"He broke his (St-Pierre's) record tonight," said White of Usman at the post-fight press conference for Saturday's event.
"If you look at what he just did he broke his record tonight for consecutive wins, and if this guy keeps rolling, if Usman can keep doing what he’s doing, he’s going to go down as the greatest welterweight ever. Fact.
"Just look at who he’s fought and who he has to fight here in the future, it’s undeniable that this guy will go down as the best Welterweight. The question is, where will he go down in the history of the sport?"
There can be little doubt that Usman is far from finished with his dominance of the UFC welterweight division either. Immediately after his win over Burns, Usman called out his rival - and previous opponent - Jorge Masvidal for a rematch.
Usman was vastly superior to Masvidal when they met last July at UFC 251.
However, Masvidal did take that fight on six days notice and Usman is keen to prove that he is the better man once again, without allowing Masvidal any excuses.
A rematch of his December 2019 war with Colby Covington is another option for Usman, who could also take on British contender Leon Edwards - and White is certainly excited at these possibilities for his welterweight champion:
"This guy’s got nothing but badass dudes lined up ahead. If he doesn’t have the respect now, he should’ve got it after the Covington fight.
"I can’t stop talking about the Covington fight. One of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen. Anyone who didn’t respect him after that? That’s your problem, not his," stated the UFC boss.
After such a great performance against a top contender like Burns, it is tough not to be impressed with Usman. Conversations about who is the best ever, though, tend to be swayed by recency bias.
The skills of Usman are fresh in the memory, whereas GSP has not fought since 2017. That alone makes a fair comparison challenging.
Usman's place in history ultimately won't be decided until after he retires. However, on his current form, it is tough to see him not to see him having a very strong claim as the best welterweight fighter of all-time.News Now - Sport News