Kamaru Usman is talking about moving up two weight classes to challenge for the UFC light heavyweight belt. As a 205 pound fighter, Anthony Smith thinks this is a bad idea.
Smith questioned Usman's plans in a new episode of Believe You Me with Michael Bisping. He said:
"Why? Why? Cuz he wants to be a double champ and he won't fight Israel Adesanya. They won't fight each other, which is weird to me, a little bit. I know there's some national pride, that's some of it. It's a Nigeria thing. But it's not like they train together. I don't get the vibe that they're really good friends and hang out."
"It's like back in the day when Brazilians didn't want to fight each other. I think we're past some of that so I don't see the issue there. I think 170 is hell of a jump ... I'm trying to figure out how to say something without trashing him, I like Usman a lot. But that's a big jump."
Watch Anthony Smith discuss Kamaru Usman's plans to fight at light heavyweight below:
Both Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya were born in Nigeria, and along with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou they're known as 'The Three Kings' of Africa. It's not something they take lightly. Brazil has had nineteen UFC champions over the years. Usman, Adesanya, and Ngannou are the first and only African-born champions. That may explain Usman's refusal to fight Adesanya a bit better.
Joe Rogan praises Kamaru Usman for performing so well with 'f***ed up knees'
Kamaru Usman may be looking to do something big and historic to establish a legacy that can't be challenged. Earlier this year he was talking about boxing Canelo Alvarez. Now he's interested in fighting for the light heavyweight title. Could 'The Nigerian Nightmare' be looking to end his career with a bang?
During a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan said that Usman's knees were almost completely shot.
"You know Usman's knees are f***ed. Both his knees are f***ed. He can't run. He said he has to sometimes walk on the grass instead of concrete because it hurts his knees so much."
Usman is set to fight Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on August 20. If he wins, that will be his sixth successful title defense since winning the welterweight belt in March 2019. That's still a long way off from Georges St-Pierre's welterweight record of nine title defenses, and Demetrious Johnson's overall record of eleven. It's much quicker to go for double champion glory.