UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman isn’t kidding about wanting to move up to light heavyweight and win a second title.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ doubled down on his light heavyweight plans at the UFC 278 media day and said he aims to speak to UFC president Dana White about the situation after he clears out the welterweight division with a victory over Leon Edwards on Saturday.
“I think any fight that I fight next is going to be a gigantic fight,” Usman said (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “I’ve already stated that I want that light heavyweight belt. For a lot of people it’s crazy but a lot of things seem crazy until it’s done.
“I stated that I wanted it. After this win, [UFC President] Dana [White] and I will sit down and we’ll have a conversation.”
“You guys think that I kid when I come up here? I usually laugh when I’m kidding, but I’m not kidding. Everyone thought I was playing with the whole ‘Canelo’ situation. I wasn’t.”
Usman isn’t saying that he would run through the light heavyweight division but that he is more than capable of winning a second championship at that weight class and beating the likes of Jiri Prochazka (champion) and Glover Teixeira.
“I’m not saying I would run through the division, don’t get me wrong, but at the top, I think I can get it done,” Usman said. “I don’t need to put on no weight. 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****** go. 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*** it, let’s just go.”
Usman would even be willing to try his luck against light heavyweight G.O.A.T. and former UFC pound-for-pound No. 1 Jon Jones although he knows he would be at a major disadvantage given the latter is about to transition to heavyweight.
“We’ve got to chill with these scenarios now,” Usman, a career welterweight, said. “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.”
UFC 278: Usman vs. Edwards 2 takes place this Saturday, Aug. 20, at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.