Following his latest win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has confirmed that he is open to moving up to fight at middleweight.
Usman, 33, is unbeaten in the UFC (13-0) and after successfully defending his title on three separate occasions, the Nigerian has seen his name join an elite-list of fighters.
Widely regarded as one of the UFC’s most dominant fighters, Usman has recently climbed to fourth in the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings.
A stunning run of victories has seen the Nigerian mixed martial artist more or less clear out his division.
With just two fighters in the division’s top 10 rankings left to beat, there has been recent suggestions the African fighter may look to move up to fight at 185lb.
Speaking in a recent interview with ESPN, when asked if he’d like to move up, 33-year-old champ, as quoted by MMA Junkie, said: “Absolutely, absolutely. If Izzy’s [Adesanya] willing to move up – well he is moving up, but if he’s willing to give up that 185 belt and says ‘I have nothing to do with that anymore,’ then absolutely I would entertain that thought.”
Adesanya, 31, like Usman, boasts an incredible record after remaining unbeaten in all of his 20 professional bouts.
The talented striker has enjoyed a dramatic rise to the forefront of top-level MMA after claiming the middleweight title and going on to defend it against the likes of Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa.
Although set to move up to light heavyweight where he scheduled to face-off against champ Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 next month, Adesanya is still expected to compete at his more familiar 185lb.
Addressing the possibility of meeting his compatriot, Usman said: “On no account right now would I ever entertain going up to fight Izzy.
“That’s just not something that I’m interested in. I’ve stated over and over before, I’d rather two Africans with belts as opposed to one African with two belts. After March, it’s gonna be three Africans with four belts. It’s a good time to be an African.”