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Kamaru Usman explains why Khamzat Chimaev matchup failed to come together, weighs in on Edwards vs. Covington

Kamaru Usman arrived at Friday’s 30th anniversary Q&A in Las Vegas ready to get back in the octagon, and he expected to be talking about a fight with Khamzat Chimaev.

Usman called for the matchup following his loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 286 in March after falling short in his quest to regain the welterweight title. MMA Fighting’s José Youngs asked Usman about what happened with a potential matchup with Chimaev — one that Dana White said he’d be OK with as long as it was contested at middleweight.

“I’m good, I’m just training, and falling back in love with my routine of training,” Usman said. “The last couple of years have been kind of chaotic — here and there, here and there — but I’m falling in love with the routine again.

“Just like [a lot of people], I thought I was going to be fighting Khamzat, too. We’ll see what happens.

“There’s a lot of logistical things, not necessarily on my end of why it didn’t happen,” Usman continued. “Like I said, I’m up here, looking good, feeling good. I’m ready to fight.”

If the fight with Chimaev can’t come to fruition, Usman said he’d love to give Conor McGregor something the former two-division champ has been talking about over the past couple of years.

“Conor said he’s always wanted to fight me at 170, so that makes sense,” Usman explained. “I’m not the champ anymore, so, hey, let’s do it.”

Usman was a long-reigning welterweight champion before getting stunned by Edwards at UFC 278 this past August via fifth-round head kick knockout. He hopes to one day have his chance to fight for the title again, but he knows he has work to do.

Before that can happen, Edwards is expected to defend his title against Colby Covington some time this year — a man Usman owns two victories over.

When asked about the matchup, “The Nigerian Nightmare” says he’s certainly intrigued.

“It’s a good fight,” Usman said of the potential championship bout. “Both guys are very talented, both guys present different challenges. I’ve whipped both of them, once or twice, so we’ll see who wins that.”

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