Kamaru Usman namechecks Leon Edwards and Vicente Luque as two potential opponents

  • Tom Ward
Kamaru Usman namechecks Leon Edwards and Vicente Luque as two potential opponents

Kamaru Usman doesn’t want to have to go looking for the competition, he wants the rest of the division to sort itself out first to find his next opponent. 

Usman, 34, scored a unanimous 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 win over Colby Covington to defend his welterweight title at UFC 268 on November 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 

And while the build-up to the fight was marred by controversy, he had nothing but praise for his fellow American for the way he dealt with adversity during the fight itself. 

“He’s an amazing competitor,” Usman told Daniel Cormier.

“He recovered so fast. I just watched the fight back over and from that second shot that dropped him, he recovered so fast and was so intelligent to go to the wrestling.

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“He went straight to the wrestling, he was able to grab a leg and I was surprised at just how much he was still there to grab the leg, go to the single, and hide the head to where he doesn’t take those big shots. Because I wanted to put him out.” 

The Nigerian Nightmare is on the hunt for his next opponent after his decision win over Covington last weekend. 

And Usman, who spoke earlier this month about a potential retirement, said he would like to run it back with Leon Edwards before he retires.  

Kamaru Usman has name-dropped Leon Edwards and Vicente Luque as two potential opponents

He also singled out the oft-forgotten Vicente Luque, who he used to train with under Henri Hooft in Florida. 

“Now, looking at the division, there are some matchups there,” he admitted.

“Leon Edwards goes out there and gets the job done, and as heated as this rivalry is with [Jorge] Masvidal, if he goes out there and starches Masvidal, Leon Edwards is a bona fide star.

“That’s a fight that has to happen. He hasn’t lost since he fought me the first time and that’s what people are going to want to see, if he’s able to go out there and really do what he’s supposed to do with Masvidal.

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“Also, you can’t forget Vicente Luque. Vicente, he’s as battle-tested as anybody, he’s as fun of a fighter as anybody. So with this new – the way that I fight now, where I’m at, Vicente Luque is another exciting contender. That’s another fight that could potentially take place.

“I’m just waiting for these guys to really step up. These guys have got to step up and show the world that, ‘Hey, I’m that next guy.’

“Right now, they’re kind of right there in the fold, trying to break through and I’m just gonna sit back and let these guys break through and make a case for themselves.”

READ MORE: Jorge Masvidal out of UFC 269 clash with Leon Edwards after suffering an injury during training

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