UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has yet to make his first title defense after defeating Tyron Woodley for the gold this past March.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” has been dealing with a string of injuries; as he recently underwent surgery for a double hernia, and is currently rehabbing an injured knee that was aggravated during his fight with Woodley.
As he tells MMA Fighting, however, Usman plans to be back in action before the end of the year (via MMA Mania):
“First of all, the most important thing is my health,” Usman said. “I had a pretty significant surgery after my last fight so I want to get back to the point where I can be in the gym and start training. Then I can become the active and dominant champ that I want to be.
“We’re talking some contracts that need to be worked out, we’re talking about logistics of where the fight can take place, and the most important is my injury. By the end of the year, I should be fighting again, for sure.”
No fight for Usman has officially been announced as of this writing. However, UFC President Dana White has confirmed that Colby Covington will be Usman’s first challenger.
There is plenty of bad blood between Covington and the champion, which should make for good fun in the build-up to the bout.