Ask most fans of the sport, and they’ll tell you that Georges St-Pierre is the greatest welterweight the world has ever seen. Kamaru Usman, the Nigerian-American mixed martial artist, is tipped by many to reach the heights of or come close to GSP and rival him for the crown of the greatest ever. At the age of 34, the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion has a way to go before he can be properly compared to the Canadian legend, though. Below is a look at some key reasons as to why.
It’s a tough one to level at Kamaru Usman given his age of 34, but he was a long way to go in terms of title reign and dominance before he can match GSP’s combined reign at the very top, which reached an astonishing 2,064 days. Since the victory against Tyron Woodley, Usman has looked impressive in fights against the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns. As pointed out in Jeff Fox’s MMA blog for MansionBet, the champ is surely going to extend his reign at the top with a victory over Colby Covington on November 6th, although he needs to follow that up with further dominance in the division to match GSP’s all-round dominance. He certainly doesn’t have too many years left, making his bid to dislodge St-Pierre from the throne a tough task.
If there is one criticism that has been levelled at Kamaru Usman, then it usually comes back to his lack of finishing ability, although it does come despite impressive finishes against Burns at UFC 258 and a devastating finale against Covington in the first meeting between the two. His more recent demolition of Jorge Masvidal certainly silenced the criticism levelled at him for not finishing off the American mixed martial artist when they first met, too, although some fans and pundits alike still want to see more powerful knockouts from Usman. Whether or not he can shake off the “point-fighter” or “decision-fighter” tag remains to be seen, but some more brutal knockouts will certainly work in his favour. He has it in him, too.
Never stop evolving
The best fighters move with the times and never stop learning and evolving, with none encapsulating that more than Georges St-Pierre. After all, the mixed martial arts world is constantly evolving at quite a pace, therefore making it extremely important that fighters look to grow with it. In Usman’s case, he possesses the weapons needed to reign supreme for a while, but his opponents will be looking to close the gap and knock him off his perch. In order to stay there, the Nigerian-American mixed martial artist needs to keep refining his art and evolving to add more styles and weapons to his arsenal.
Top the P4P list
(Image via https://twitter.com/nokhchomma)
Although he can’t actually control this particular outcome, Kamaru Usman needs to reach the very top of the men’s pound-for-pound list, something GSP did in his heyday. Usman is currently ranked second in the men’s P4P rankings, but top spot will surely be on his mind if he wants to silence any of the doubters and cement himself as one of, if not the greatest welterweight champions of all time.
Keep racking up the title defences
It’s obvious, but Usman must maintain his victorious title defence streak in order to be considered the greatest. For example, most people regard Jon Jones as being the best ever largely because of the amazing title defences he put up. Even when assessing GSP, Usman has a way to go, with the Canadian legend registering 12 wins and nine consecutive title defences.