Dana White Confirms Kamaru Usman Will Fight For Welterweight Title Next

Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman in the cage at UFC 210 in Buffalo, NY April 2017 Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Kamaru Usman has leapfrogged his way into a title shot against Tyron Woodley, or another name if Woodley isn’t ready to fight, at UFC 235.

It’s confirmed. Kamaru Usman will get a shot at the UFC welterweight title in 2019. That’s according to a new report by MMA Junkie’s John Morgan, who cited none other than UFC President Dana White as well as Usman’s manager in reporting the news. Usman had previously revealed he had signed a contract for a title fight against Tyron Woodley. On Wednesday, his management unveiled that the fight would take place at UFC 235. White then notified MMA Junkie that “that fight is happening or Usman vs. someone for the title.”

Move over, Colby Covington. Usman (14–1) has been on a tear in the 170lb division, but has been widely criticized for his lack of finishes. The TUF 21 welterweight winner has nine wins in the promotion, with just two finishes. His last three fights have ended in decision. However, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ decimated former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in his last contest at the TUF 28 Finale.

Champ Woodley (19–3–1) last defended his title against Darren Till at UFC 228 in September He’s currently nursing a hand injury, hence White’s comment about “Usman vs. someone for the title” — though whether that would be an interim title remains unclear. Woodley, despite harsh criticism from White, has actually been one of the UFC’s most active champions.

Left on the outside looking in is former interim champ Covington. He later added his thoughts on the matter. “Listen John, UFC fans are dumb, but they aren’t stupid,” Covington said (via MMA Junkie). “If the marquee doesn’t say Covington vs. Woodley, then it ain’t a title fight. Print that.”