UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is riding a big high right now. Fresh off his fifth-round knockout of Colby Covington at UFC 245, Usman conquered his biggest rival and is now setting his sights on a huge potential fight … and it’s just not the fight many might be thinking. Speaking with TMZ, Usman dismissed the idea of facing Conor McGregor, who returns to action in January to face Donald Cerrone at welterweight with a lightweight title shot seemingly on the line simultaneously.

“He must want to die,” Usman said. “This is not ’45, ’55. You saw what Khabib [Nurmagomedov] did to him. Oh my God. It wouldn’t be fair if I fought Conor. Much respect to Conor for what he’s done for the sport and transcended it. But nah. This ain’t what you want. Just sit down, little man. Sit down. Learn to walk before you can run. Because I would hurt that guy.”

Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast — State of Combat with Brian Campbell — where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon, and be sure to listen to our instant analysis of UFC 245 below. 

Instead of a fight with McGregor, which would be undeniably big business, Usman is looking to the retired 170-pound greatest of all time as his ideal challenge.

“If I had to choose, of course I want Georges [St. Pierre],” Usman said. “I want GSP. One more win and I tie him for the most consecutive wins. How sweet would that be to actually get that win off of him?”

Other potential challengers for Usman’s title include Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards, but the champ maintained that the biggest fight for him is the currently-retired St. Pierre.

“I think it’s a big, big, big fight,” Usman said. “All due respect to Georges, but I think I finish him.”

More UFC news, rumors

  • Rory MacDonald has signed a multi-fight deal with Pro Fight League, MacDonald and PFL confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday. MacDonald most recently competed in Bellator, where he held the welterweight championship. Prior to his time in Bellator, he was a staple in the UFC where he challenged Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title in July 2015, losing one of the best fights in the history of the promotion.
  • Dan Lambert, Covington’s trainer, said his fighter is continuing forward with a positive attitude despite his broken jaw. “He is a 10 out of 10 as far as what I would hope his mindset would be after a fight like that,” Lambert told MMA Fighting. “He wants to get right back in. He wants to get right back into training. He wants to get back into training as soon as he’s ready health wise. He wants to get back and prove that he’s the best. You never know how a fighter’s going to respond to something like that. When I first talked to him, I had my concerns cause you just never know. I could not have scripted his response any better than what I heard from him. He’s 1,000 percent positive, 1,000 percent motivated. He’s ready to go. He didn’t lose one piece of confidence in himself.”
  • Featherweight contender Brian Ortega is planning a return to the Octagon in early 2020 after suffering a torn ACL that forced him out of his Dec. 21 fight with Chan Sung Jung. “I’m doing a lot of rehab,” Ortega said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “I’m already doing things on it. They said two more months of rehab. I’ve been rehabbing everyday. Right now, I’m pretty much doing everything I used to do but around the injury while I’m rehabbing the injury.”
  • After suffering a knockout loss to Petr Yan at UFC 245, Urijah Faber said he is not ready to decide if he’s going hang up his gloves yet. “I’m not going to be pursuing the belt at this moment,” Faber said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” “I’m going to be chilling with the family, staying in great shape, staying in the gym, and it’s a ‘I could or I couldn’t.'”