Kamaru Usman: Someone Has to Take a Bullet Because No One Above Us Will Fight

Kamaru Usman, UFC Chile

Darren Till can’t get a fight even though he’s headlining a major UFC Liverpool card. Kamaru Usman is sitting just above him in the rankings, but can’t get a fight either. The two recently went at it on Twitter, but doesn’t believe it will actually result in them fighting at UFC Liverpool. Why? First, because Usman doesn’t believe the UFC wants Till to lose on hs own show. Second, because the stalling at the top of welterweight.

“The UFC got itself in a situation here. This is the situation right now in the welterweight division: Darren Till and I are sitting at No. 7 and No. 8. No one above us will take a fight with either him or I, absolutely not. A couple of guys above us are actually terrified of us. Colby Covington being the first one. He is definitely terrified because he only wants [Tyron] Woodley. He thinks, ‘I already got up here, so I’m not going to risk getting beat up by any of these other guys. If I’m going to get beat up I want to get paid for it by fighting Woodley.’ Nobody above us will fight us.”

“Then on top of it the UFC are really trying to break new ground this year. Liverpool being of them, but then Argentina being another one. So for the first time the UFC is going to Chile, and who is headlining that card? Santiago Ponzinibbio. If he wasn’t headlining he’s a shoo-in as the guy you throw at Darren Till. It’s a shoo-in. But they’ve already scheduled him to headline Chile, and now you’ve got Darren Till scheduled to headline Liverpool. So they’re two hype trains that the UFC doesn’t want to derail because they want to, later on this year, take Ponzinibbio to Argentina to headline a card in his home country. So it would suck for him to get his ass beat in Chile before you go to Argentina. Same with Darren Till. It would suck for him to go break ground in his home town and have him get his ass beat.” — Kamaru Usman speaking to MMA Junkie.

He has a great point: Stephen Thompson still is getting over his hand injury. Rafael dos Anjos has been told he’s next and is waiting on Tyron Woodley. Colby Covington believes he’s the one who’s next so he’s not missing out on his shot by fighting backwards. Robbie Lawler is also injured and Demian Maia is 40-years old on a two-fight losing streak trying to figure out his next move. This leaves the mid-ranked welterweights all having to fight each other or low and unranked fighters giving them no forward momentum.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/21/2018.