Phoenix, AZ – Big PPV cards bring out the stars and at UFC 274 on Saturday night, supporting his teammates, was UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Usman was in attendance to support lightweight Justin Gaethje and strawweight Rose Namajunas.
Speaking to the media Usman offered an update on his hand injury. Usman broke his hand prior to the rematch with Colby Covington at UFC 268.
“Hand is doing a little better. Saw the doctor this week, and I can start making light contact with the hands. That’s just what sucks with these things. When you’re dealing with the tendons that they’re a lot tougher to just heal right away specially when they’re on top of the knuckles,” Usman said.
Usman declined to give a timeline for when he would be ready to return to action. He did say he’d be back by the end of 2022.
“I don’t want to throw a time on it, but just rest assured I want to be in there as soon as possible,” Usman said.
Usman has defended his title five times now against Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns. That still leaves some contenders at 170 pounds with one glaringly obvious one on the come up. Khamzat Chimaev is coming off a grueling 5-round battle with Burns in which he came out victorious and jumped up in the rankings.
“I mean he’s a competitor. Each and every one of these guys in the division are competitors. I take them as competitors I take them that serious, but as far as putting anything extra on anybody just to try to give them a boost, I don’t really care about. Gilbert Burns was just as tough of a fighter as Colby Covington. Just as tough as Jorge Masvidal. Of course I love the extra zeroes on the check if they bring that much eyeballs, but at the end of the day they’re just competitors and I see no face,” said Usman.
Turning to boxing however Usman did show quite a bit of interest of a match with Pound-for-pound #1 boxer Canelo Alvarez.
“You know at the end of the day….it is what it is. Canelo is the best pound-for-pound boxer. I’m the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist. I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. I was courageous enough to want to challenge myself in that way, and he’s not. And the only thing that he can say is ‘Pay-day’. Let’s be honest. He fights me it’s the biggest payday of his career. I fight him probably the biggest payday of my career because it’s something that’s never been done before. Make no mistake about that,” Usman said.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” continued on about Alvarez.
“At the end of the day I’m courageous enough to step in there and do your sport because you’re not man enough to step over here and do this sport. It is what it is. Mano-a-mano you lock us both in a room, I’ll let you guys decide who drags the other guy’s dead body out of that room,” Usman said.
And of course the mandatory Conor McGregor matchup question, and Usman had one answer for it.
“All I have to say is pay-day.”
Watch the full UFC 274 press conference appearance by Kamaru Usman above. More coverage from the event can be found below.