There is Only One Condition on Which Kamaru Usman Will Move to Middleweight Division

Published 04/20/2021, 12:44 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman poses on stage during the UFC 245 press conference at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The current Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is still undefeated in the UFC. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ comes with a record of 18 wins and 1 defeat. The Nigerian has already defended his title 3 times against top-ranked Welterweights.


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Now UFC has booked his 4 title defense against his longtime foe Jorge Masvidal. Kamaru has haunted the division by his ruthless approach in his fights.

The Top-4 ranked fighters have already tasted defeat at the hands of Usman. Although Edwards has already lost to Usman, he seems to be the next contender for the title, if Leon Edwards wins against Nate Diaz in his next fight.


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Another strong contender is Stephen Thompson, ‘Wonderboy’ has never faced ‘ The Nigerian Nightmare’ and will look to test his skills inside the octagon with him.

If Kamaru Usman beats them all, which looks possible considering his current run in the division, he might move up to the Middleweight division but only under one condition.

The condition being Israel Adesanya’s move up a division. In an interview with Brett Okamoto this year Usman said, “If Izzy is willing to move up well he is moving up.

“But if he’s willing to just give up that 185 lbs. And say, ‘Yeah I don’t have nothing to do with that division anymore.’ Then absolutely I would entertain that thought.”

Kamaru Usman wants 2 African champions rather than 1 African with 2 belts

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is very clear about not fighting Israel Adesanya. He will only be tempted to move up a division if Adesanya leaves the 185 division.

The Welterweight champ doesn’t want to face his fellow African fighter as he considers him his brother. Usman tells “I’ve stated over and over and over before. I’d rather have two Africans with belts as opposed to one African with two belts.”

Now according to reports, Adesanya will move back to the Middleweight division after losing his Light Heavyweight UFC debut. But it doesn’t mean that we will never see him moving up again.

Kamaru Usman will at least defend his title 2 more times if he wins his rematch against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 this week. It means he will stay in the same weight class for at least one more year.

This is enough for ‘The Last Style bender’ to pile up a couple of wins and make his return to the Light Heavyweight class once again.


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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event. At Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020, on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Adesanya still has some unsettled beef with his rival Jon Jones; therefore 205 is the ideal weight class to meet. If everything goes according to the plan for both Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman, only then will the fans be treated to a middleweight move by ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’.

Do you feel Kamaru Usman will make his Middleweight debut in the coming years?


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Saurabh Singh

89 articles

Saurabh Singh Laledia is an MMA enthusiast who works as a UFC writer for EssentiallySports. His passion for the UFC infused with his knowledge of various fight styles such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu motivated him to pursue a career in combat sports journalism, as it would be where he could exhibit his expert views and unbiased opinions whilst keeping the fan’s perspective alive. He started watching the sport at UFC 53 in 2005 when ‘The Ace’ Rich Franklin beat Evan Turner to claim the belt and has traced the journey of the middleweight title right from 'The Spider' to 'The Last Stylebender'.