Kamaru Usman Says He’ll No Longer Be The Backup Fighter

MMA

UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley defeated Darren Till by second round submission in the main event of UFC 228.

Kamaru Usman was the backup fighter in case either the champion or challenger got hurt, but Usman says that’s a role that no longer suits him.

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“I think I’m high enough to where I’m in a position I don’t have to that anymore,” Usman told ESPN. “I did it for this fight because I want to be the champion [but] they put another guy ahead of me. I’ve already proved I have what it takes to be the champion, I’m right there.”

Usman never did get to fight at UFC 228, but was still a pro and made weight in case either main event competitor went down.

The top ranked welterweight has a date with former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos later this year, but its UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Colby Covington that Usman wants in the future.

”This is the thing, if they put Colby in front of me then yes. Of course, if I had a choice I’d take the championship fight because the life of a challenger is way different than the life of a champion,” Usman said. ”[But] I’d definitely take that belt, and then go out and beat [Covington]. I really want to beat him up, but he doesn’t supersede the reason I joined and I got into this sport, which is becoming a champion.”

UFC Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale takes place on Friday, November 30 from The Pearl Theater At The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada with Kamaru Usman and Rafael Dos Anjos headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.

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