Kamaru Usman has some advice for Khamzat Chimaev: come fight me or quit talking about it.
The former UFC welterweight champion, who has lost two straight fights to current titleholder Leon Edwards, has been strongly linked to an October bout with Khamzat Chimaev, but nearly a year since he last competed in the UFC cage he appears to be no closer to having a fight booked.
And if he wants to come back to take on the former champion in what would be by far the sternest challenge in his career to date, Usman says he is waiting for him.
“You know, at the end of the day, I have been — and still am — the boogeyman of this division,” Usman said to the media ahead of UFC 290 in Las Vegas. “I asked for the guy. If you want to fight — you want to be a champion — cut the f*cking weight and come fight.”
This shot across the bow did not escape Chimaev’s attention, as he issued his response on Sunday evening on Twitter.
“Kamaru Usman, why are you talking about me?” the undefeated Chimaev said. “You said you want to fight at 84 kilos [middleweight]. The weight no problem for you. You are the boogeyman but I am the wolf. Come up.”
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) July 9, 2023
Now, the bickering over which weight class a hypothetical fight between the two would take place could be a stumbling block. The UFC have been hesitant about Chimaev’s future at 170-pounds after he spectacularly missed weight for a proposed fight with Nate Diaz last year, which ended up being a 180-pound catchweight fight with Kevin Holland. It also remains to be seen if Usman has any real interest in 185-pounds, or if he plans to wait out his time for a title shot at 170.
One thing is for certain though: a Kamaru Usman versus Khamzat Chimaev fight, at whatever weight class, would be box office gold.