Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s anticipated debut in the South American nation of Chile, surging UFC welterweight contender Kamaru Usman authored his best win yet, braving a tough first round to pick up a dominant, unanimous decision win over the veteran Demian Maia. Usman’s win became even more impressive post-fight, when he divulged that he believed he’d broken both of his hands early in the contest.
With this win over Maia, Usman improved to a solid 13-1 overall, and a flawless 8-0 in the UFC’s Octagon. Needless to say, he’s now one of the welterweight division’s top contenders, and is in sprinting distance of a fight with reigning champion Tyron Woodley.
Shortly after his win over Maia, Usman directed a message to Woodley, who was working as an analyst for Fox Sports.
“Champ,” Usman began. “You know my social media hasn’t changed since I got in the game five years ago. [It says] welterweight, and I’m coming for that gold strap. And with that performance, even with some handicaps, nobody can deny that I’m top-5 right now in the division.”
Woodley, who was listening from the Fox Sports studio, responded to Usman respectfully, though he did admit he noticed a few holes in the contender’s game, which he believes he could exploit.
“Kamaru Usman, congratulations,” Woodley said (h/t MMAjunkie). “I don’t ever want to take away the credit. Demian Maia is a game opponent. Me as the champion, I’m always welcoming any challenger. Just make it to that point, I’ll be on the other side of the octagon. I did see a couple things that if you do against me, you might end up waking up with the smelling salt. But hey, hats off to you. Great job. Just being real.”
Do you think we’ll see a matchup between Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman in the future?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/20/2018.