UFC's Kamaru Usman Says He's 'Lost Faith' in Possible Khabib Nurmagomedov Fight

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Kamaru Usman during a UFC 261 mixed martial arts fight early Sunday morning, April 25, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. This is the first UFC event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to feature a full crowd in attendance. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has long coveted a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but The Nigerian Nightmare is doubtful it will happen.

Usman told TMZ Sports on Tuesday: "I've lost faith in this one. ... I think you have more of a chance at making Kamaru Usman and Georges St-Pierre happen before Kamaru Usman and Khabib."

Khabib is arguably the most dominant force in UFC history, as he owns a perfect 13-0 record under the UFC umbrella and a 29-0 mark in professional MMA.

Nurmagomedov beat Al Iaquinta for the UFC lightweight title in 2018 and defended it three times, beating Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje by submission.

Despite being at the top of his game, Khabib announced his retirement following his win over Gaethje, citing the death of his father and trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, as one of the reasons.

UFC President Dana White had subsequent conversations with Khabib in hopes of getting him to change his mind, but White seemed resigned to the fact that Khabib is retired when he tweeted the following in March:

danawhite @danawhite

29-0 it is. He is 💯 officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @TeamKhabib thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend. https://t.co/QeoSP12zw2

White doubled down on his belief by booking Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 262 on May 15.

The 33-year-old Usman is fresh off a vicious knockout win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 last weekend, and he is seemingly running out of high-end challengers in the welterweight division.

Usman is 19-1 overall, and like Khabib, he has never lost a fight in the UFC. Usman is 14-0 under the UFC umbrella and has won 18 consecutive fights.

Given how dominant both Usman and Khabib are, a fight between them would likely be among the most highly anticipated bouts in UFC history, but there is no sign that it could happen any time soon.

The fact that Usman mentioned St-Pierre as a potential opponent is intriguing, though, since Khabib has long wanted to fight the Canadian MMA legend.

St-Pierre, 39, is also retired and has only fought once since 2013 and not at all since 2017, but his name still carries plenty of weight.

There is no telling where St-Pierre's skill level stands after so much time away from the sport, but if Usman vs. Khabib can't happen, Usman vs. St-Pierre may be the next best thing if White can convince the 26-2 fighter to return for one more bout.