Usman is scheduled for his sixth consecutive 170-pound title defense as he’s set to take on Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on August 20 in Salt Lake City, Utah. And should the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter get past Edwards as he did in 2015, “The Nigerian Nightmare” told TMZ Sports that he wants to compete for the 205-pound title next.
“We’re gonna go in there and we’re completely focused on Leon Edwards,” Usman said via MMA News. “But after Leon Edwards, we have our sights set on (light heavyweight), whether it’s Jan or whether it’s Jiri, whoever it is, that’s what we want.
“I want to prove to the world that there’s a reason why they say pound-for-pound. That means pound-for-pound at any given time, any given moment, any given weight, I can go in there and not only hold my own, I can be victorious. I wanna be able to prove that,” Usman continued.
Well, during a recent episode of McCarthy’s “Weighing In” podcast, the former MMA official said that light heavyweight combatants are simply “too big” for The Nigerian Nightmare.
“I don’t wanna see him do it,” McCarthy said via MMA Junkie. “I like Kamaru Usman. I think Kamaru Usman’s a phenomenal fighter. I think 170 pounds is a great weight class for him, and 205 is too big.”
“The guy’s got a great gas tank, he’s got great wrestling, his stand up has gotten really good. … He’s a phenomenal MMA fighter, and at 170, dude, he’s the king,” McCarthy continued. “Stay the king. Don’t go up that far. We’re talking about 35 pounds of weight class. Thirty-five. Crazy, don’t do it.”
McCarthy Also Thinks Usman Should Stay Clear of Boxing Canelo Alvarez
The Nigerian Nightmare has also said on several occasions that he wants to box pound-for-pound great Canelo Alvarez. And in the same TMZ interview, Usman said he would be watching Canelo’s upcoming trilogy match with Gennadiy Golovki closely.
“I would love that,” Usman said about boxing Canelo (h/t Middle Easy). “(September 17), that was supposed to be my date with Canelo, but, of course he found someone else to dance with, which is ‘Triple G.’ The trilogy, that’s an incredible fight. That’s something that I’m definitely gonna be paying attention to and watching.”
Once again, McCarthy shared on the “Weighing In” podcast his displeasure with Usman’s daring nature.
“The guy [Kamaru Usman] has got a great gas tank,” McCarthy via Sportskeeda.com. “He’s got great wrestling. His stand-up has gotten really good. It’s not good enough to beat ‘Canelo.’ Jesus Christ, people! You know, you have no fu**ing concept. He will get lit the fu** up in a boxing match.”
Usman & Edward Fought at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015
Usman and Edwards met over six years ago during UFC on Fox 17 and The Nigerian Nightmare took the win via unanimous decision.
Fast forward to July 2022 and both men haven’t tasted defeat since then.
“Rocky” is riding a 10-fight unbeaten streak with his most recent win coming in June 2021 over Nate Diaz. For Usman, he’s won 13 fights in a row, including five title defenses. He last fought at UFC 268 in November, besting Colby Covington by unanimous decision.