Over the last few years, Kamaru Usman has made some “outrageous” claims/aspirations during his title reign. One of the standouts is wanting to box Canelo Alvarez. However, I think the one that takes the cake is wanting to skip the middleweight division and fight for the Light Heavyweight title.
As someone with Nigerian heritage, I’m proud that Usman doesn’t wasn’t to fight Israel Adesanya for his middleweight strap. His statement about having two Nigerian champions is more important than having one man with two championships is 100% accurate so unless the money is right for both of them, I don’t want Kamaru and Izzy to fight.
Now, onto fighting in the Light Heavyweight division. The difference in weight between the bigger divisions is much larger than the smaller ones. So the idea of someone like Henry Cejudo or Demetrious Johnson fighting and being competitive at 145lbs isn’t unrealistic because more likely than not, they’ll be fighting at their natural weight and men who won’t be that much heavier than them on fight day.
Kamaru, who naturally weighs around 200lbs, will be fighting men who cut down to 205, which means on fight night they’ll balloon back up to 220-225 lbs. The difference in size will play a massive factor if he fights up there. We saw how it affected Adesanya against Jan Blachowicz and despite Kamaru being one of the best wrestlers in the world, against someone with the BJJ and boxing of Glover or the all round ability of the champ Jiri Prochazka, Kamaru doesn’t stand much of a chance.
One thing I’ll say about moving up in the bigger divisions is that it can’t be rushed. What Jon Jones has done to transform his body to fight at Heavyweight is what a lot of these fighters need to consider before trying to jump up a weightclass.
So, with all being considered do I think Kamaru can become the Light Heavyweight champion? No. Is it possible. Yes. Out of all the male divisions right now, the Light Heavyweight’s is probably the weakest and anything can happen. I don’t think he can beat Glover, Jiri or Jan but I think Kamaru has the ability to beat a decent amount of that top 15. The likes of Dom Reyes and Johnny Walker , I genuinely think he has a chance of snatching a win.
With all this being said, Kamaru has got to beat Leon Edwards at UFC 278 or none of this is even a possibility.