UFC Welterweight King Kamaru Usman Says He Will Move Up to Middleweight Under One Condition

Published 02/18/2021, 1:01 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 13: (R-L) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria punches Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 258 event at UFC APEX on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Kamaru Usman is in the process of cleaning out the welterweight division in the UFC. He holds victories over the top four contenders in the division and doesn’t have a fresh matchup in mind for his next bout. He is looking to rematch Jorge Masvidal, but many are wondering how it would be for Usman to possibly move up to middleweight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The current MW champion is Usman’s very good friend Israel Adesanya. Usman has said that he would move up to middleweight only if ‘Izzy’ leaves the division based on his light heavyweight title fight result against Jan Blachowicz next month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Absolutely. If Izzy’s willing to move up, well, he is moving up. But if he’s willing to give up that 185 pounds and have nothing to do with that division anymore, then absolutely I would. I would entertain that thought, but no account right now would I ever entertain I’m going up to fight Izzy.

That’s just not something that I’m interested in and I’ve stated it over and over again. I’d rather two Africans with belts as opposed to one African with two belts.”

Kamaru Usman: Loyalty over glory?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kamaru Usman not wanting to fight Izzy at 185 is very commendable. We have seen people make sacrifices like this before, most notably when Daniel Cormier moved down to light heavyweight so as to not compete with Cain Velasquez. However, ‘DC’ moved up after Velasquez fell out of title contention.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 13: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria reacts after his victory over Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 258 event at UFC APEX on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

As Usman gets older, it will be smart for him to move up. That will allow him to focus on his fight camp rather than the weight cut. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ could build up his size to match up with some of the larger middleweights. However, it will be a tricky move.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Usman is happy being a 170 pounder right now and has a lot to achieve in this division. A long title reign may make his bid for GOAT that much more believable.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT