Ali Abdelaziz says Kamaru Usman is the greatest fighter he has ever been associated with
Dominance MMA chief Ali Abdelaziz has managed the careers of several dominant UFC champions but says that one of them stands above the rest: Kamaru Usman.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman takes on his latest UFC welterweight title defense late on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah when he fights the seven-year unbeaten Briton Leon Edwards and speaking in advance of the bout, Abdelaziz says that Usman’s accomplishments trump even those of former two-weight champion Henry Cejudo, and even the 29-0 icon Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Usman has defeated all comers in the UFC’s 170lbs fold and will be looking for his 15th straight victory in the Octagon against Edwards, after defeating the likes of Colby Covington (twice), Jorge Masvidal (also twice) and Gilbert Burns in recent fights.
Should Usman have his hand raised in Saturday’s UFC 278 main event, he will tie Anderson Silva for the most consecutive wins in the history of the UFC (16) — but according to Abdelaziz, Usman’s place in the history books is already assured.
“It’s very hard, man,” said Abdelaziz when probed by TMZ as to his all-time best client is.
“You’re talking about Henry Cejudo, two-division champion, defended two-weight divisions, right? Khabib, undefeated, never lost, barely lost a round.
“But when you talk about Kamaru, for me Kamaru at welterweight, one of the hardest divisions in the UFC, he’s beating these guys and he’s sticking around. He’s 35, sticking around.”
Nurmagomedov, though, is often considered to be among the sport’s greatest fighters but — much like Henry Cejudo — Abdelaziz says that Khabib’s decision to retire from mixed martial arts in his prime means that Usman have jumped ahead of him in the list of all-time greats.
He adds that Usman’s goal of jumping up TWO weight classes to test the waters at light heavyweight is also something which sets Usman apart from his peers.
“You can say Khabib a little bit retired early, you can say Henry retired a little bit early, right?” Abdelaziz explained.
“Right now, it’s tough man. I love all of them. Everybody knows how close I am to Khabib and how I love them.
“I love Kamaru too but right now, the way Kamaru is doing it, I don’t think anybody’s doing it the way Kamaru is doing it and he’s willing to go up to light heavyweight and do a two-division champion and skip a weight division.
“You have to give it to Kamaru right now. Wherever he is at with his career, it’s Kamaru.”