“There Is a Difference Between Fighting and Competing”- Kamaru Usman Says He Will Fight Israel Adesanya Only on One Condition

Published 11/03/2021, 1:45 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria enters the octagon during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman is undoubtedly the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC at the moment. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has steamrolled everyone in his way since he won the belt against Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. Usman has now reached a point where he has secured wins over most top contenders once and is handing out rematches. 

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In most cases these days, when a champion is extremely dominant in their division, it has almost become a norm to step up a weight class and attempt to become a two-weight world champion. However, for Kamaru Usman, that is not an idea that he will entertain.

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This is because the 185-pound champion is his dear friend Israel Adesanya. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has stated multiple times that it is better Africa has two men with one belt each rather than one man with two. 

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In a recent interview with Max Kellerman, Usman shared his thoughts on a potential fight with Adesanya and what it would take to make it happen.

He said, “Adesanya is my guy, that is something me and him have to discuss. There is a difference between fighting and competing. If me and him decide we want to compete and the UFC is throwing a $100 million at us, then we’ll make it happen.”

Is a fight between Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya likely to take place?

Kamaru Usman is running out of competition in the welterweight division. The title fight against Covington will be his third title defense this year, having previously knocked out the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns

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It is no secret that Usman is eyeing a mega-fight and rightfully so. Unfortunately, the only fighters in the welterweight division who can give him that are perhaps Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz. While Chimaev is a win or two away from getting a title shot, the unranked Diaz is on the last fight of his contract with the UFC. Therefore, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ may have to look elsewhere for a mega payday. 

However, it is unlikely that we will see a fight between Adesanya and Usman, given how adamant both men have been about not facing each other.

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The only way we see Usman at 185-pounds is if ‘The Last Stylebender’ is dethroned. That also looks unlikely, as Adesanya has ruled middleweight with an iron fist. 

Watch this story:- Colby Covington’s Intense Training Routine For His Rematch Against Kamaru Usman at UFC 268

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Kevin Binoy

1269 articles

Kevin Binoy is a senior UFC author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA desk, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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