While Kamaru Usman is willing to face off with Conor McGregor, it feels like Georges St. Pierre is the fight he’d rather have.
Las Vegas, NV — Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has had a month to bask in the glory of a big win over nemesis Colby Covington at UFC 245.
But if you ask him — and he was asked Thursday, as part of the UFC 246 media day attended by Cageside Press and countless other media outlets — you’ll find he’s not the type of spend much time reveling in his wins. “I don’t soak it up as much. As soon as I’m done, it’s those few hours. Of course the world, everyone is blowing up your social media,” he said. After that, after all the “good jobs” Usman will head to his room, to be alone. “And I’m just in there, and I think to myself, ‘what’s next?’ That’s done, that’s over with, what’s next? That’s kind of the feeling I’m getting now.”
Usman has been passing his time with family and video games, mainly UFC 3, but apparently it’s time to look ahead. With Conor McGregor in Vegas for UFC 246, there was little chance Usman wouldn’t be asked about the Irish star.
And it seems he’s willing enough to fight McGregor. “Anybody can get it. I have never said no,” exclaimed Usman. “When Dana White calls and says ‘I want you to take out this guy,’ I say ‘when?’ and we get it done. I’m not the one picking and choosing fights. I’ve never turned down a fight ever in my career. I’ve been the one begging for fights. But now I’m in a situation, I’m in a position where I don’t have to beg for fights anymore. They have to come to me.”
“If Conor wants it, Conor can get it too,” Usman stated. “I don’t discriminate on the ass-whuppin’. Anybody can get it.”
There’s another name that Usman was a little more animated about: GSP. Georges St. Pierre.
“That’s a fight that to be honest that really gets me up, that gets me motivated, intrigues me,” Usman said when asked if he might be the one to lure the Canadian legend back for one last fight. “Of course I do my job, when I sign on the dotted line to fight anybody, I’m going to go in there and do my job.”
“A fight with someone like Georges is a fight that makes me think, that wakes me up. Georges is something that is special to the martial arts world,” Usman continued. “A guy that actually has the record right now currently that I’m chasing. And what better way to cement my legacy by actually going out there and breaking my record against that man? Because he hasn’t really lost. He walked away, and he’s still in tip-top shape, he could come back – as he showed a couple of years ago with Bisping. He could come back and still get it done. So that is a fight that intrigues me a lot, and that is something that I’m looking forward to.”
St. Pierre, of course, returned from a four-year hiatus from MMA in 2017, moving up in weight to dethrone middleweight champion Michael Bisping. GSP would later vacate the belt, and officially retired from the sport last year.
Of course, Khabib Nurmagomedov also wants to fight St. Pierre. And GSP was willing, though the UFC couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get the deal done. Nurmagomedov and Usman share a manager, which could complicate matters. Usman joked that maybe they’d “fight it out and beat the manager to decide.”
But the reality is, both want to fight GSP for the same reason. “Georges cemented a legacy, he went out there and did his job. He was one of the best. Respectable guy. He wasn’t one of these new school guys that’s talking and trying to be what they’re not,” Usman explained. “Georges was a true mixed martial artist. He proved that he was the best. And there’s a reason that Khabib and myself want to fight Georges, because we want to prove that we’re the best. It’s nothing negative, it’s not that we’re looking for a money fight or this and that, we just want to prove that we’re the best.”
GSP, now 38-years old, retired with no unavenged losses, nine consecutive title defenses at welterweight, and was a two-division champion (welterweight and middleweight). His record stands at 26-2.
Watch the full press conference with Kamaru Usman from the UFC 246 media day above!