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Kamaru Usman forced us to look up his Twitter. Now what will it take to get a title shot?

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The champ could only roll his eyes. Whether it was Kamaru Usman’s performance or his attempted post-fight callout on FS1, it was hard to tell.

Then again, maybe it was both. Like the rest of us, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley had just sat through five rounds of Usman vs. Demian Maia in the UFC Fight Night 129 main event. Once it was over, Usman sent him a personal message on the post-fight show, using a modified version of the same spiel he’d used in the cage after his unanimous decision victory was announced.

“Hey, champ,” Usman (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) said into the camera, after being informed that Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) was watching back in the FS1 studio. “You know my social media hasn’t changed since I got in the game five years ago. Welterweight, and I’m coming for that gold strap. And with that performance, even with some handicaps, no one can deny that I’m definitely top five right now in the division.”

This was the second time that night that Usman had pointed to the consistency of his social media presence. He was so insistent about it that he even forced me to look up his Twitter handle.

(It’s @Usman84kg, by the way. So obviously the next thing I had to do was Google 84 kilograms to find out that that’s 185 pounds, so then I spent a few minutes I’ll never get back wondering why a 170-pound contender was drawing attention to this discrepancy in the first place. Unless he’s referring not to his Twitter handle, but his bio, which reads: “UFC WELTERWEIGHT COMING FOR THAT GOLD STRAP!!” So the point of all this was … he saw himself as a future welterweight champion even back when he signed up for Twitter with the wrong weight class in his name? See, now you’ve wasted your time thinking about it too, so at least we’re in the same boat.)

Woodley rolled his eyes for comedic effect, then did his best to give Usman his props for a solid, if unspectacular, win over a respected opponent. Then he added a curious little extra.

“Me as the champion, I’m always welcoming any challenger,” Woodley said. “Just make it to that point, I’ll be on the other side of the octagon.”

Here’s where the seasoned observer must ask: Wait, what point? The point where Usman gets a title shot? Because that’s not so much a destination as a designation, and trying to figure out what it’s going to take to get it is becoming an increasingly frustrating pastime for everyone in the welterweight class.

Take Usman, for example. His big problem, or so we hear, is that no one wants to fight him. He went from a fellow contender in Santiago Ponzinibbio to a past one in Maia, and he did enough to win without knocking anybody’s socks off, so now he’s still more or less in the same place as he was before the fight.

We know he’s good. We suspect he might even be really good, when he puts all the pieces together at something close to 100 percent. It still doesn’t seem like it’s enough to create any real sense of urgency.

Maybe this problem is easily solved. If Usman can get in there with another top welterweight – the winner of Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson, maybe, or either one of UFC 225’s interim contenders – he could be just one notable finish from solidifying himself as the guy.

But especially lately, the opportunities seem nearly as tough to come by as the wins. Everybody wants to make it to “that point” where they’re standing across the cage from the champ. Nobody can be absolutely certain what it’s going to take to get there.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 129, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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