UFC 278: Kamaru Usman explains why he would move up to light heavyweight

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UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has explained why he’s interested in moving up to 205 pounds.

Over the course of the last three and a half years, Kamaru Usman has been the one constant at the top of the UFC’s welterweight division. The man known as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has turned back a parade of contenders, including Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns.

There are already many fans and pundits questioning where the 35-year-old sits in the greatest of all-time discussion and if he carries on down this path, Georges St-Pierre may need to look over his shoulder as the 170-pound king.

In the past, Usman has made it clear that he wouldn’t be interested in moving up to middleweight as a result of his close friend Israel Adesanya being the reigning champ. What he would consider, though, is going up even higher than that to light heavyweight.

A fun face-off with Jan Blachowicz earlier this year helped tease the idea and in a recent interview, Usman spoke in more detail about why he’d entertain it as a distinct possibility.

“I want to be respected. When I get in there and I’ve bested everyone, I want you to show me that respect. So if I’ve bested everyone in my division, and I said I would skip on [up to light heavyweight], I’d just want to prove it to you guys.

“Everyone says pound for pound but that’s just kind of a scenario, you just throw that out – oh, if they were the same weight class, could this guy best that guy. I want to prove that. I want to be able to do that. No one has ever done it so if I can do that, hey, you put whatever title you wanna put on it but ultimately, I want the respect.”

Rocky awaits

After waiting patiently for his shot at the gold, Leon Edwards finally gets his crack at the champion this weekend at UFC 278.

Salt Lake City will be rocking as Usman and Edwards run back their 2015 clash, and if Usman can secure the win, a possible showdown with hot prospect Khamzat Chimaev could be on the horizon.

With that being said, it’d be foolish to rule out Birmingham’s finest.

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