There are many outstanding UFC champions right now but the official pound-for-pound king is undoubtedly welterweight boss Kamaru Usman.
Usman has only lost once in 20 bouts – and that was nine years ago. Since then the Nigerian Nightmare has seen off all comers and next Saturday he gets another chance to seal his legacy in a rematch with Colby Covington in New York.
If Usman can keep his streak going, he could challenge for the GOAT title still held by another welter, Georges St-Pierre, over a decade ago. St-Pierre turned back the challenge of fighters as good as Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and BJ Penn. He even managed to avenge both of his career losses before retiring.
Despite only holding the UFC welterweight title for two years – defending four times in the process – Usman looks set to challenge St-Pierre’s legacy.
The Nigerian Nightmare has been as dominant as GSP was in the 170-pound division. Not only has he beaten the likes of Covington, Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal convincingly, but he remains unbeaten in the UFC at 14-0.
Jones was recently in the news for a legal issue. He hasn’t fought since he defeated Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision at UFC 257 in February 2020. With Jones being so inactive, the UFC rankings panellists decided to demote him. Jones has slipped down to No. 4 behind Usman, Alexander Volkanovski (featherweight), and Israel Adesanya (middleweight).
Covington claims the only thing that needed fixing in the aftermath of his UFC 245 clash with Usman two years ago, is poor Photoshop skills by an online troll.
The thrilling grudge match headlined UFC 245 back in Dec. 2019. Reports came out after the fight that Covington — who lost via fifth-round technical knockout — suffered a broken jaw. Covington denies his jaw was broken and is convinced he can cause an upset this time. That looks unlikely as Usman still trains like a contender, fearing complacency will be his downfall.
Meanwhile, Usman says he receives “mad blame” for the demise of Tyron Woodley‘s career and that he feels disrespected by the former welterweight champ.
Since Usman captured his UFC title in dominant fashion over Woodley in 2019, their careers have taken wildly different trajectories. Usman, 34, recently deposed Jon Jones as the UFC’s pound-for-pound king and looks likely to retain his title against Covington at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 6. Covington taunted Usman in the first fight, always wearing a MAGA hat and swearing his allegiance to Donald Trump. Their exchanges were unpleasant and visceral.
Woodley, on the other hand, has gone from being one of the greatest UFC welterweight champs ever, to fighting - and losing - to YouTuber Jake Paul. Not only that, the 39-year-old suffered more indignity of permanently inking his love for Paul in a vain attempt to secure a rematch. Usman hasn’t taken any pleasure in witnessing his former rival’s fall from grace, however.
When asked by Daniel Cormier about Woodley’s decision to have “I love Jake Paul” tattooed on his finger, Usman said it saddened him to see the former champ stoop to such a low, and that much of the blame for Woodley’s sorry situation is being unfairly levelled at him.