Kamaru Usman has revealed he considered a potential light heavyweight move for the majority of last year, in a bid to add to his welterweight title spoils in a showdown with then-undisputed titleholder, Jan Blachowicz. 

Usman, who most recently headlined UFC 268 back in November, turned in a fifth successful welterweight title defense consecutively – handing former interim champion, Colby Covington a unanimous decision loss at the Madison Square Garden event.

The victory rounded off a splendid 2021 for the Nigerian, who had scored a second career win over rival, Jorge Masvidal in April courtesy of a thunderous second round knockout, which followed a third round stoppage over former Sanford MMA teammate, Gilbert Burns two months prior at UFC 258. 

Kamaru Usman would elect against challenging friend and current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya

In September, Kamaru Usman also dislodged former two-time light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones from his perch as the pound-for-pound king in the organization – gazumping him into the #1 slot himself.

And Kamaru Usman recently admitted that while a move never materialised, he intended to make a stunning light heavyweight division leap to tackle former champion, Blachowicz for most of 2021. 

“I was gonna skip Israel (Adesanya) and go fight Jan (Blachowicz) at 205,” Kamaru Usman said during a recent interview with GQ. “Because I’m pound-for-pound, I want to prove it. No matter what weight it is, I thought he (Jan Blachowicz) was a really good matchup for me. I think I would beat him.”

Whilst the bout failed to come to fruition, a week prior to Usman’s title retention against Covington, Blachowicz suffered a surprising one-sided rear-naked choke loss to current champion, Glover Teixeira at UFC 267.

Auchi native, Usman, has yet to book his next Octagon outing, however, is expected to return from a hand injury suffered in the weeks leading up to November’s clash with Covington this summer, ahead of a potential title rematch against December 2015 foe, Leon Edwards