Dana White feels a Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev welterweight title fight makes sense if both are victorious in their upcoming fights, but he’s warning everyone to make sure to not count out their opponents.
Usman will defend his title against Leon Edwards this Saturday at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, while Chimaev will headline next month’s UFC 279 event against Nate Diaz. On Tuesday, the UFC President was asked about a potential matchup between Usman and Chimaev and while he’s not 100 percent on the matchmaking just yet, it seems that the chances are pretty good.
“It’s fair,” White told reporters following DWCS Season 6, Week 4. “I don’t ever do that s*** but it’s fair to say if he wins that one, that’s the fight to make. [Usman has] already beat everybody twice at the top so that makes sense.”
Edwards will finally get his long-awaited opportunity to negate his most recent loss to Usman in December 2015, while Diaz enters the final fight on his UFC deal on Sept. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Despite both Edwards and Diaz being massive underdogs, White has been around long enough to know that nothing is guaranteed.
“It’s huge, especially if he wins that Nate fight,” White explained. “By the way, I did a bunch of media today and everybody’s counting Nate Diaz out. It’s just like people counting Leon Edwards out. You can’t count anybody out. In this sport, man, you never know what’s going to happen. Anything is possible.”
Usman has openly discussed a move up to light heavyweight should he be victorious on Saturday. With good friend Israel Adesanya as the current middleweight champ, “The Nigerian Nightmare” seems more than happy to jump up two divisions in his quest to capture a second title.
While White feels a fight between Usman and Chimaev makes sense if everything falls into place, he feels the 170-pound king’s potential move to light heavyweight doesn’t — although White doesn’t think he’ll be able to stop it.
“You know what doesn’t make sense? 205 [pounds],” White said. “I mean, look what the guy has done. If he wants to go to 205, what am I going to tell him? Why would you not give him the opportunity?”