Kamaru Usman Doesn’t Believe the UFC Will Ever Match Him Up Against Darren Till

Kamaru Usman was asking for a fight against Darren Till for months but the matchup never came together and he doesn't believe it ever will.

In a perfect world, Kamaru Usman would like to compete for the UFC welterweight title before the end of 2018 but he knows that’s not likely to happen.

Usman is preparing for a showdown with top five ranked welterweight Demian Maia in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Chile this weekend where a victory would put him on an eight fight win streak in one of the deepest divisions in the sport.

Based on that streak alone, Usman should be entering title fight conversations but with the UFC about to crown an interim champion at UFC 225 between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington with the winner then moving onto face Tyron Woodley, that leaves the rest of the contenders sitting on the sidelines most likely for the rest of the year.

Of course that doesn’t sit well with Usman but he also understands how the game is played that’s why he’ll gladly take on another top ranked fighter after he gets through with Maia this weekend.

Given the current rankings and fighters who are active and available, Usman believes a victory over Maia should put him in line to face the winner of the matchup between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Darren Till in Liverpool. Then again, Usman feels there’s only one of those two fighters the UFC would ever actually allow him to face.

“I fight the winner of Till and “Wonderboy” on one condition, if one guy wins,” Usman said. “We both know who that is. If the other guy wins, that fight doesn’t happen. If the other guy wins, he probably gets a title shot right away, I guarantee.”

Usman had actually been calling out Till for months before both of them were booked into separate fights.

Usman has long believed that the UFC is protecting Till in hopes of building him up as the next European superstar now that Michael Bisping is nearing retirement and no one seems to know for certain when Conor McGregor will fight again.

That’s why Usman feels like the UFC didn’t give him Till for this fight because they are still trying to promote him and the British born striker might struggle against one of the best grapplers and wrestlers in the entire division.

Then again, Usman says that for all the hype surrounding Till, he might just be in for a rude awakening against Thompson when they clash on May 27 in England.

“Not just because I like “Wonderboy” and me and him are cool, but I said it before, I think that’s a far more difficult puzzle to solve than anybody else in the division. You can just look at his body of work and know that’s not an easy guy to fight. Everyone is kind of writing him off cause everyone is thinking that this whole façade that Till’s got going is really going to overwhelm “Wonderboy”. I believe “Wonderboy” is going to go in there and take care of him,” Usman said.

“Wonderboy” is the wrong guy to stand in front of. I know that. Of course I want to fight him one day, he’s just that good of an athlete, I want to test myself against that guy. At the same time, I don’t think that’s an easy fight for Till. Till is a talented guy, I don’t want to discredit him but I just don’t think he’s on the level that they’re trying to put him on right now.”

If “Wonderboy” wins, Usman expects him to be the next fighter he faces on his road to the title but doesn’t see the same thing happening if Till is somehow victorious.

“It’s not hard to figure out on my part because I’m the guy who knows what’s in front of him,” Usman said. “I know who doesn’t want to fight me and why they don’t want to fight me. I know what the UFC is thinking from a marketing standpoint and where they want to place certain guys. I get that. I got it.

“They gave Darren Till the bigger name, the more favorable stylistic matchup for him, which I still don’t think it is all that favorable.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.