At UFC 251, Kamaru Usman managed to vanquish his rival in Jorge Masvidal. While it was only on a few days notice, the new main event of “Fight Island’s” debut was months in the making. It also made for a profitable return for the UFC when it came to PPV buys.
Following the bout, questions surrounding Usman’s next opponent was the major talking point. UFC President Dana White stated that Gilbert Burns, who had to back out of the fight after testing positive for COVID-19, would be the next opponent for Usman. Masvidal has even called for a rematch. Who does Usman (17-1) want to fight?
Speaking with TMZ Sports, the UFC Welterweight Champion discussed a specific opponent he had in mind. This person is someone who he shares a record with.
“Honestly, I would have to say Georges St-Pierre,” Usman stated, via MMA Fighting. “Right now we’re tied for the record- most consecutive wins in the welterweight division – and Georges is a tough guy, Georges is a legend. Georges is a guy who has put his time in and is considered one of the best and that’s where I aim to be. Georges can still do it. He proved it, what, two years ago when he came back, that he can still do it. And I feel that he’s still able to do it. He’s still able to come in and be that opponent where people are unsure. Like, ‘You know what? We don’t know if Usman’s got this one.’
“I think Georges St-Pierre can be that guy and that’s what I’m looking for. Those are what champions are made of. When you get that feeling, ‘I’m not sure. This one’s a tough one. I don’t know how this one is gonna go but I’m gonna damn well go out there and compete and see what happens.’ I think Georges St-Pierre can be that guy and if Georges wants to do it, Georges can get it too.”
Usman is on a sixteen-fight win streak dating back to 2013. He beat Tyron Woodley for the UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 235 and defended it against Colby Covington at UFC 245 in December. The Ultimate Fighter Welterweight Tournament winner wants what he believes is the best fight for him, career and money-wise. This is after Masvidal stated a rematch with him could generate more money than he currently makes.
St-Pierre (26-2), the latest inductee to join the UFC Hall of Fame, made his UFC debut in 2004. Right away, he earned a shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship, losing to Matt Hughes. Following the loss, St-Pierre went on a six-fight win streak, and in a rematch, he avenged his loss, taking out Hughes to win the title.
Losing the title to Matt Serra in round one of their fight in 2007, St-Pierre won it back in Montreal. He then defended the title nine times before retiring in 2013. He didn’t return until 2017, when he challenged Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight Title. Inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 217, St-Pierre pulled off the ultimate upset, submitting Bisping to become a two-division champion.
“Georges knows what he’s done with his legacy,” Usman went on to say. “He’s cemented his legacy. He’s put in the time, he’s put in the work, and that’s why he sits at the top as one of the best ever. So I’d love to test myself. I’m a martial artist just like he was a martial artist and if he still has some fire burning in that oven, let’s test it out. Let’s go out and see if he can still do it.”
St-Pierre has not directly announced his intentions to return to the octagon. There is a chance, for the right price, a bout could be possible. If not, Usman will focus on the active fighters within his division.