Nightmare UFC Champ Confesses Jake Paul Fight Would Be a Gamble

Kamaru Usman, Jake Paul, UFC

Getty Most Valuable Promotions founder Jake Paul speaks during a press conference.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has confessed fighting Jake Paul in a boxing match would be a gamble for him.

The 170 lb king has proven to be dominant at the top. Usman has gone undefeated in the UFC and lapped past top-ranked contenders, such as Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, beating them twice each. With Usman making easy work of the division, he set his sights on pursuing another adventure.

Usman has been rallying for a crossover megafight against boxing champion Canelo Alvarez. UFC president Dana White had previously dismissed all talks of the potential showdown, calling it a “stupid fight that makes no sense.”

Ahead of his defeat to Dmitry Bivol in May, Alvarez simmered down the idea, in an April 27 tweet: “You calling me out right? You want the pay day right? So you know where, but sit down it’s not your turn yet I have a legacy to make.”

Alvarez’s comments didn’t discourage Usman’s camp as his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, continued the exchange: “In the meantime thank you @USMAN84kg for the headlines ahead of a fight no one is talking about good luck champ next week.”

In an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, Usman revealed why he would prefer to fight Canelo over Paul.

“Me fighting Jake Paul, I’m helping him,” Usman said (ht MMA Junkie). “I beat Jake Paul, nobody cares. You’re supposed to beat him. I still get a bank account now. I still get that. I beat Canelo, biggest athlete in the world, not even close, 100 million in the bank. If I’m gonna gamble, I’m gonna gamble well.”

“Absolutely,” Usman said. “Listen, me and him get in a scrap right now, he could touch me. I’m not naive or ignorant enough to think – let them put it on the news. I’m a realist. I know I’m gonna dog walk him, but at the same time, everyone has a puncher’s chance.”

Usman Is Gearing Up To Face Leon Edwards at UFC 278

For his next title defense, “The Nigerian Nightmare” will take on Leon Edwards in the headlining bout of UFC 278 on Aug. 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. They shared the octagon in the past, with Usman coming out on top of their first clash in Dec. 2015.

Edwards will be looking to avenge his loss and claim the promotional gold. Although Edwards was expected to challenge Usman earlier, a hand injury kept the champion away for longer. He finally got the title shot off the back of a win over Nate Diaz in June last year.

If Usman adds another successful title defense to his record, it’s unclear what he will do next. He has indicated a desire to move up two divisions in a bid to solidify his status as the greatest of all time.

Usman Hinted at a Move Up to Light Heavyweight

Usman has shied away from going up to middleweight, which would be the closest move up for him, due to the fact that his friend Israel Adesanya holds the belt in the 185 lb division. However, he has stayed firm on attempting to achieve ‘double-champ’ status by going up to light heavyweight.

The pound-for-pound number one is targeting a matchup with the reigning 205 lb king Jiri Prochazka at some point ahead. If both men are able to retain their titles, Usman will ramp up his efforts to secure the bout.

Company head White may be more inclined to the possibility considering it will solely be under the UFC banner along with his backing of Usman as the best.

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