UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman is willing to make his return to the octagon on June 12th.
According to Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, Usman is now targeting a clash with No. 7-ranked welterweight contender Michael Chiesa at UFC 263 this coming June.
During his recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, Abdelaziz said that Kamaru Usman wants to face a high-ranking fighter who is currently undefeated in the welterweight division and does not have a fight booked.
“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, defend against very tough opponents,” Abdelaziz told ESPN about Usman. “He (Colby Covington) went and fought Woodley, the guy is not even in the UFC anymore, he’s 40-years-old and beat him. Maybe Colby Covington is good for business, who cares. Chiesa, four-fight winning streak, Vicente Luque three-fight winning streak, Leon Edwards, nine-fight winning streak? Why (is) Colby Covington so special? What about Kamaru, if Marvin Vettori beats Israel Adesanya, why (doesn’t) Kamaru go up and fight Marvin Vettori for the middleweight title?
“Listen, Kamaru earned every right to do what he wants right now. But, we are respectful to Dana and his wishes and we are going to work together regardless,” Abdelaziz continued about Usman wanting to fight right away. “We will make it happen. Kamaru called me yesterday, he said June 12, let’s do Michael Chiesa. He asked me who had the longest winning streak in the division in the top five or six, I said Chiesa, he said June 12, (Chiesa) doesn’t have a fight. It doesn’t really matter who. He said let’s do Michael Chiesa, ask the UFC if I can fight on June 12. I told the UFC, Kamaru can fight three more times this year.”
At the recent UFC 261 pay-per-view, Kamaru Usman finished Jorge Masvidal via second-round TKO and beat Gamebred for the second time in the UFC. The reigning UFC welterweight champion could face Colby Covington next, but it remains to be seen if a fight against Michael Chiesa materializes.