Now that Kamaru Usman failed to reclaim the welterweight title in his trilogy bout with Leon Edwards at UFC 286, the Ultimate Fighting Championship remains without an African champion after having three as recently as last year.

Going into 2022, we had Kamaru Usman as the dominant UFC welterweight champion, Israel Adesanya as a dominant middleweight champion, and then former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

Usman lost his title to Edwards in August of last year via KO in round five, Adesanya lost his title via TKO in round five of his trilogy bout against Alex Pereira; and Ngannou vacated his title and left the UFC.

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But, the Cameroonian native reacted to last Saturday’s main event, and he does believe Usman will reclaim his throne after losing his last two fights:

“There’s one thing I’m happy about. Usually when people get knocked out, they don’t come back in the fight, they will be wobbly. He was there, he fought tonight. (There were) a lot of setbacks. I know that he didn’t train properly because of a lot of injuries, but he was there, it’s a victory. An unfortunate victory, but I think now he is mentally healthy than he was before.

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“Let’s see what’s next. I believe that he’s going to get it back. I believe it.”

There is certainly a chance of this happening, though he is 35 years old at this point.

Dana White said Colby Covington is next for Edwards, and should Covington win that fight, that’s someone Usman is 2-0 against. But, both of those fights were incredibly close and Covington’s chances in a trilogy shouldn’t be overlooked. He could also fight no. 4 ranked Belal Muhammad, or no. 3 ranked Khamzat Chimaev, should Chimaev stay at 170 lbs.

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Or, perhaps a move up to middleweight could suit Kamaru Usman well?

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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.