The former pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman suffered his second consecutive loss to Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards at UFC 286 at The 02 Arena this past Saturday and as a result, failed to recapture the welterweight title. Even though ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ didn’t manage to get his hand raised, UFC President Dan White had high praise for the former champ.
Talking about the main event at the post-fight press conference, White said,
“I expected a lot more wrestling out of Usman than I saw. And when he did try to wrestle, obviously Leon did a great job, especially if you compare it to the first fight. … Do I think Usman was (gun-shy)? Yeah. That’s what I thought was going to happen going in. I thought he was going to be very gun-shy. I thought he was going to be holding onto those legs all night. He did the exact opposite. He only shot a few times and he was willing to mix it up in there.”
What’s next for Kamaru Usman?
Kamaru’s fall from grace has been drastic, it wasn’t long ago when he was considered the best fighter on the planet and was consequently tagged as the number 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. But after losing two consecutive fights the road to the title has become a little tough for him.
A special thank you to my management, family, friends, and fans. I appreciate each and everyone of you. Wasn’t my night but as always we go back to work. Congratulations @Leon_edwardsmma great work 🤜🏿🤛🏿👏🏿
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) March 19, 2023
After the main event at UFC 286, UFC president Dana White declared that the next title defense for Leon Edwards will be against current number two welterweight contender Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington. That opens up several other fight options for Usman.
With Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal scheduled to fight next month, the winner of that matchup might get ready to fight Usman. ‘The Nigerian Nightmre’might as well decide to fight upcoming contenders like Belal Muhammad or Shavkat Rakhmonov.