Kamaru Usman has almost cleared the welterweight division. He holds victories over the top four contenders in the division and doesn’t have a fresh matchup in mind for his next bout. He is looking to rematch Jorge Masvidal, but many are wondering how it would be for Usman to possibly move up to middleweight.
The current MW champion is Usman’s very good friend Israel Adesanya. We have seen them rooting for each other. Usman has said that he would move up to middleweight only if ‘Izzy’ leaves the division based on his light heavyweight title fight result against Jan Blachowicz next month.
“Absolutely. If Izzy’s willing to move up, well, he is moving up. But if he’s willing to give up that 185 pounds and have nothing to do with that division anymore, then absolutely I would. I would entertain that thought, but no account right now would I ever entertain I’m going up to fight Izzy. That’s just not something that I’m interested in and I’ve stated it over and over again. I’d rather two Africans with belts as opposed to one African with two belts.”
Kamaru Usman not fighting Izzy at 185 is not surprising. We have seen people make sacrifices like this before, most notably when Daniel Cormier moved down to light heavyweight so as to not compete with Cain Velasquez. However, ‘DC’ moved up after Velasquez fell out of title contention.
Israel Adesanya also wants to fight Jon Jones. But ‘Bones’ has confirmed his heavyweight move. Jones manager earlier stated that Jon does not need to chase fights. It’s the other contenders who have callout Jones. If ‘Izzy’ wants to fight Jon, he has to move up to heavyweight. So if Adasanya moves to heavyweight there is a possibility we see Kamaru Usman fight for the Middleweight Gold.
Usman is happy being a 170 pounder right now and has a lot to achieve in this division. A long title reign may make his bid for GOAT that much more believable.