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Kamaru Usman Reportedly Wants to Face Michael Chiesa Next

May 2, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

While speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (via MMAWeekly), Ali Abdelaziz, the manager for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, stated that Usman was interested in a fight against Michael Chiesa next at welterweight. Usman was recently successful in the main event at UFC 261 last month. He knocked out contender Jorge Masvidal in the second round.

In the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said Colby Covington would be the next title matchup for Usman. Previously, Usman defeated Covington by knockout in the fifth round of their title bout at UFC 245 in December 2019. Below are some highlights.

Abdelaziz on why Usman should fight Chiesa next: “Listen, Kamaru in the last 10 months fought three times. Colby in the last three years fought three times. After Kamaru destroyed his jaw and disfigured his face Kamaru went and fought three times, defended against very tough opponents. [Covington] went and fought [Tyron] Woodley. Guy’s not even in the UFC anymore, he was 40-years-old and beat him. Maybe Colby Covington’s good for business, who cares? Chiesa, four fight winning streak. Vicente Luque, three fight winning streak. Leon Edwards, nine fight winning streak. Why’s Colby Covington so special? What about Kamaru, if Marvin Vettori beats Israel Adesanya? Why not Kamaru go up and fight Marvin Vettori for the middleweight title? Listen, Kamaru earned every right to do whatever he wants right now. But, we’re respectful to Dana [White] and his wishes and we’re gonna work together regardless. We’ll make it happen. Kamaru called me yesterday. He said ‘June 12, Let’s do Michael Chiesa.’”

Abdelaziz on why he thinks Dana White would be open to the idea: “One thing about Dana people don’t know, Dana is not just a tyrant who runs over people. ‘Oh, you have to do this’, no. You can talk to Dana. Dana White told me, ‘Kamaru Usman knocks out Jorge Masvidal, he becomes a different level.’ You see Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, so many big media talking about [Masvidal], right? Well guess what. Kamaru Usman won, sat for 24 hours at home and said, ‘I need to fight. I love this.’”

Michael Chiesa has won his last four fights since moving up to welterweight. He’s currently ranked No. 7 in the division. The only people ranked above Chiesa who Usman has not faced or beaten yet are Vicentue Luque and Stephen Thompson. UFC has not yet confirmed an official rematch between Usman and Covington.