Kamaru Usman wants to do things that have never been done before in mixed martial arts (MMA) … but some possibilities may be even a bit too extreme for the current pound-for-pound king.
In 2022, Usman has played with the idea of challenging top boxer, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in a boxing match along with more recently expressing interest in pursuing the 205 pound Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title. As crazy as both ideas have sounded to the general public, Usman has full confidence in his abilities. However, when it comes to facing someone like Jon Jones in a potential move to Light Heavyweight, that’s where the Welterweight champ draws the line.
BLOCKBUSTER WELTERWEIGHT REMATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sat., Aug. 20, 2022, for the first time in more than five years, headlined by a blockbuster Welterweight championship bout that will see Kamaru Usman run it back with No. 2-ranked contender, Leon Edwards. In UFC 278’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, No. 4-seeded Middleweight contender, Paulo Costa, aims to spoil the return of former 185-pound champion, Luke Rockhold. And last but not least, former Featherweight champion and all-time great, Jose Aldo, returns to Bantamweight action, too!
“We’ve got to chill with these scenarios now,” Usman said with a laugh at UFC 278 media day (h/t MMA Fighting). “Nah, Jon is Jon, he’s big as hell, which is why he can easily make that transition to Heavyweight. If the money’s right, I’ll try my luck, but Jon is great. Jon is a fantastic competitor and definitely in that conversation as the best-ever.”
As alluded to by Usman, Jones is currently still planning to make his debut at Heavyweight in the near future after vacating his 205 pound title in early 2020. Jones, 35, has since made it clear he won’t be going back down to his original division if he does end up coming back at all.
Before Usman can make an attempt to make his lofty dreams a reality, he’ll need to first get through Leon Edwards for a second time when they rematch this weekend (Sat., Aug 20, 2022) at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Even though he has no specific desires for something like a Jones match up, Usman feels he’d fit right into “Bones” old division without many physical changes being made.
“I don’t need to put on no weight,” Usman said. “People don’t understand what my death grip is like. I can get around you. I don’t care whether you’re Heavyweight or 205, these understand what my strength is. I have an idea what I want to do in a fight, but I leave that up to my coaches.
“I have an approach of how I want to fight those fights in my head, which usually comes out when everything else is failing in the fight, I just f—king go,” he continued. “However I want to fight, I’m going to fight it. I’m going to try the coaches’ way, this is what y’all dialed up, I’m going to do it but if everything is failing, f—k it, let’s just go.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.