clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kamaru Usman plots path after Leon Edwards rematch: ‘I will go to 205 and I will grab that belt’

UFC 278 Press Conference Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

With the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez crossover fantasy boxing match in the rear-view mirror, Kamaru Usman remains insistent on achieving some lofty goals.

The reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight kingpin has already found himself being argued as one of the greatest fighters of all time. A dominant force in his 170-pound weight class, a new desire has sparked surrounding the thought of potentially becoming a dual-division champion ... but not in the traditional sense.

Typically, history has seen champions go up or down one weight class in pursuit of becoming a double champion. Usman now has intentions of going up to make his dream come true ... the only difference is he wants to avoid the division directly above him entirely.

LIVE! Watch UFC 298 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

WORLD FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, for the first time in more than two years with its latest pay-per-view (PPV) show. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV main event, reigning Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will defend his 145-pound strap against undefeated surging Spanish contender, Ilia Topuria. In addition, former Middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker, will finally square off with mercurial mauler, Paulo Costa, in UFC 298’s co-feature. UFC 298 will also feature the returns of Ian Garry, Geoff Neal, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili and so much more!

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Like I said, and I meant it, I will skip that [Middleweight division] and I will go to 205 and I will grab that belt,” Usman told ESPN. “You tell me. I skip 185 and I go up there to 205 and I grab that belt, what do you say about my career?”

Throughout his 21-fight career, Usman (20-1) has fought north of 170 pounds just once in a 180-pound Catchweight contest against Rashid Abdullah. The bout was Usman’s third professionally and saw him win via first round technical knockout with punches.

Set to rematch Leon Edwards in his next time out at UFC 278 on Aug. 20, 2022, Usman hopes to get a Light Heavyweight title shot whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the process of doing so, don’t expect the “Nigerian Nightmare” to follow in Jon Jones’ footsteps by bulking up before the divisional transition.

“I would just go in [without bulking up] and grab that belt,” Usman said. “What would you say and what stamp would you put on my career once I do that?

“We’ll see [when],” he concluded. “It’s something we got to talk to the company about but first of all is Leon Edwards. Once we get past Leon Edwards then that’s what I want.”

And, judging by the looks of it, the bold statement might not be too far-fetched.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania