Kamaru Usman is riding quite the high after a successful title defense at UFC 258. He’s ‘cleaned’ out the division, hasn’t been beaten in close to a decade, and so now the conversation is shifting to whether or not he can make history.
There’s a lot on his docket. Right now a rematch with Jorge Masvidal is tentatively scheduled, along with tentative plans for both to be coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. It seems to be something Usman actively wants, thanks to Rashad Evans of all people.
“Rashad winning The Ultimate Fighter - I did that,” he told ESPN (transcription via MMAFighting). “Rashad being a UFC champion — I did that. Rashad coached The Ultimate Fighter and now I’m in a position to do that. Rashad’s a Hall of Famer. I told him, ‘Hey big bro, I’m coming! I’m trying to get that jacket too.’ So it’s crazy how much of a path. It’s kind of (a question) of do I have a choice to do it, yes or no? For that reason alone it’s almost a yes for me.”
Usman seems happy about what could charitably be described as a ‘diversion’ or perhaps as an interlude before something more dramatic. Would he be willing to move up to middleweight and follow on the footsteps of fighters like GSP?
“If Izzy (Israel Adesanya) 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 entertain that thought. 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 one African with two belts. And you know, after March there’s going to be three Africans with a four belts. So it’s a good time to be an African. Good time.”