It is safe to say that Kamaru Usman has conquered the welterweight division to the fullest. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ put on a stellar show against his former teammate Gilbert Burns, at the recently concluded UFC 258. After getting off to a shaky start, Usman came back stronger than ever, knocking out Burns in the third round, thereby successfully defending his welterweight title, for the third time. The win also saw Usman go past, one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time – Georges St-Pierre, for the most consecutive victories in the UFC (13).
Speaking in an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Usman spoke of his future fight plans, and also opened up about a possible move to the middleweight division, just like his Nigerian mate Israel Adesanya, who recently moved from middleweight to light-heavyweight (although, he is yet to make his light-heavyweight debut).
‘That’s just not something that I am interested in‘
Kamaru Usman was quoted as saying, “Absolutely. If Izzy is willing to move up. Well, he is moving up. But, if he’s willing to give up that 185 belt and say ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with that division anymore’ then absolutely. I would absolutely entertain that thought.”
Speaking about a possbile fight with Israel Adesanya and the fighters from his home continent of Africa, Usman said, “But, on no account right now would I ever entertain going up to fight with Izzy. That’s just not something that I am interested in. I’ve stated it over and over and over before. I’d rather there be two African’s with belts as opposed to just one African with two belts. And you know, after March (Ngannou vs. Miocic 2) there’s going to be three Africans with a total of four belts.”
It is true that, Usman has almost cleaned out the entire welterweight division. Probably the only big name he hasn’t fought in the welterweight division is the aging Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, who is currently ranked number 5 in the welterweight rankings. There are also speculations that Usman would be the perfect opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov can fight against, if he decides to come out of retirement.
What do you think the future holds for Kamaru Usman?