UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is unsure of what his fighting future holds following his rematch with Colby Covington this Saturday night in the main event of UFC 268.
Usman spoke with reporters during the media day for UFC 268 and was asked how he felt about the recent performance of undefeated welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev at last weekend's UFC 267 event. The current king of the Octagon's 170-pound division has respect for the work Chimaev has done so far but said a fight between the two would have to make sense given where Usman is currently at in his career.
“First and foremost, he’s done a tremendous job with the opposition he’s been presented with,” Usman said (h/t MMA Fighting). “No shame in that. He’s doing great. I like it. I love all the hype that’s been there. Let’s all be honest, life is not fair. We learn that as kids. Life isn’t fair, so I know some guys get a faster push, some guys don’t. It is what it is. More power to him. He’s doing a phenomenal job with the position that he’s being put in. Hats off to him. As far as me [fighting him], you know I’m at a point in life to where I understand how much this takes from you. I’ve been nine weeks now away from my daughter, and FaceTime does help, but it doesn’t do it justice, as far as being there each and every day. So obviously I don’t know how much longer I’m willing to do this. They have to make sense for me now. If he’s able to get there, then we’ll talk about it at that point.”
He continued on to say that he believes he's done pretty much everything there is to do in MMA at this point and wants to walk away from the sport like past champions, Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov did when they retired from fighting.
“I want to be that champion who does it all,” Usman said. “I want to do it on my own time, like Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. I know a lot of people have been throwing a lot of shade, saying a lot of things about Khabib leaving when he wanted to leave. That’s how you do it. Even Georges St-Pierre, that’s how you do it. You leave when you want to. You don’t let the sport retire you. So yeah when I feel like that time’s there, it’s time for me to go. Let’s be honest, I’ve kind of done what there is to do in MMA, in UFC. This Saturday live on ESPN pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden, what’s bigger than that? I’ve headlined pay-per-views before. The first event back with fans and look how that looked, how that pay-per-view went. Fought Colby the first time, T-Mobile Arena headlined that. Went all the way to Abu Dhabi, headlined that in Fight Island 1. What is there to do in the sport? I’ve done it all. Talk about legacy, look what I’ve done to this point. When I’m done and I walk away, guys are going to look back and say wow, he was special. Just like we’ve done with some of the greats. So if I’m looking at legacy, I want to do something that’s never been done before. These guys don’t really scare me anymore.”