Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is targeting a big fight next.
Usman is coming off a majority decision defeat to Leon Edwards in their UFC 286 trilogy fight for the welterweight title back in March.
With two losses to the champion and no shot of another rematch for a while, Usman is all but guaranteed to compete in a non-title fight for the first time since 2018.
And he clearly wants to go big as he pitched a fight with the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev.
“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom,” Usman told ESPN. “I'm kind of in a place now where I'm having fun with it, and what's the biggest, funnest, most intense fight that really makes me feel something? That's a fight right there. That could headline a pay-per-view.”
It's a fight that could definitely headline a pay-per-view. There are doubts as to whether Chimaev — now fighting at middleweight — can make the 170-pound limit after what happened at UFC 279, but Usman is prepared to fight him at 185 pounds as well.
But Chimaev is not the only one that intrigues Usman.
There are two other fights that interest “The Nigerian Nightmare” — one is former two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson and the other? A certain Conor McGregor.
“There aren't a ton [of interesting] fights. I'm being honest with you,” Usman said. “[Chimaev] is No. 1, biggest one out there. [Thompson] is the last guy from my era who I haven't fought. We were kind of on a collision course and kept missing each other. That's an intriguing fight. A crazy style to deal with.
“And a crazy one, Conor has always said he wanted a third title. When I was champion, you can't just waltz up, skip everybody and fight for the belt. You have to show some legitimacy. What's better legitimacy than fighting the No. 1 guy in the division?”
Not many would complain if Usman ended up fighting any of those three guys. One would probably imagine Thompson as the most likely candidate out of the trio.
But with Chimaev struggling to book a fight and plans for him to headline the UFC's return to Abu Dhabi later this year, perhaps Usman could be a viable option?