White Interested in Usman Title Shot

Kamaru Usman solidified his ranking among the UFC’s best welterweights on Nov. 30 at the TUF 28 Finale, defeating former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision in a mostly one-sided main event.

Usman is now 9-0 in the UFC Octagon and is guaranteed to move up from his No. 5 ranking. He now adds RDA to his list of notable wins, which include bouts against Demian Maia, Leon Edwards and Sergio Moraes. His performance even caught the eye of UFC President Dana White, who has criticized Usman in the past.

“Listen, man. I haven’t given the kid any credit yet, because I felt like he talked to much and didn’t do enough, so we put him in there with a guy who I have a lot of respect for, former world champion RDA — and Usman looked like a stud tonight,” White said on the event’s FS1 post-fight show. “From the first round, he actually got stronger as the fight went on, throwing tons of punches, kicks, wrestling, stood up and went toe-to-toe with him a few times. I was impressed. I’m telling you, I want to see him fight [welterweight champion Tyron] Woodley now. I want to see the Woodley fight. That’s what I want, but we’ll see.”

Woodley is rumored to next face the controversial Colby Covington, who also picked up wins over Maia and RDA — the latter of which won him the interim welterweight title at UFC 225 in June. The matchup is supposedly going to take place in early 2019, with UFC 233 on Jan. 26 being named a possible date.

Usman could face several different talents in the meantime, including Darren Till and Santiago Ponzinibbio, but White admits right now he can’t think of anyone but Woodley as Usman’s next opponent — even if it means Covington loses the spot.

“Covington’s obviously there,” White said. “I’m one of these guys, man, I always like — if you just fought and you came off a great performance against a stud like RDA, I’m looking at you. Covington hasn’t fought in a while. He got injured. He didn’t defend his title. All that stuff. Listen, in one fight, Usman — I used to talk a ton of smack about Usman. In one fight, this guy turned me around. And it makes me excited to see the Woodley fight.”

Original Story: MMA Fighting

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