With talk of a potential light heavyweight excursion circling UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman ahead of his UFC 278 headliner this weekend, speculation has linked the Auchi native with a leftfield bout against former two-time 205lbs kingpin, Jon Jones; a clash Usman is failing to dismiss.
Usman, the current undisputed welterweight champion and the promotion’s pound-for-pound number one fighter – a status he took from the aforenoted, Jones last year, returns this Saturday night in Salt Lake City, as he draws challenger, Leon Edwards.
Closing the curtain at the Vivint Arena in Utah, Kamaru Usman will look to further solidify his status as an all-time great at welterweight, as well as turn in his sixth successful successive title knockback at 170lbs.
The Trevor Wittman native already holds a pair of wins over both Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal as welterweight champion – as well as a knockout of Gilbert Burns. And has welcomed the opportunity to challenge the likes of Jiri Prochazka, Glover Teixeira, and Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight next – skipping the middleweight division entirely.
Kamaru Usman distances himself from a clash with Jon Jones
However, talks of a potential, albeit unlikely pairing with Rochester native, Jones has surfaced, with Usman distancing himself from the bout, but maintaining money could likely twist his arm to share the Octagon with the veteran.
“We’ve got to chill with these scenarios now,” Kamaru Usman told assembled media during his media availability ahead of UFC 278. “Nah, Jon (Jones) is Jon, he’s big as hell, which is why he can easily make that transition to heavyweight. If the money’s right, I’ll try my luck, but Jon is great. Jon is a fantastic competitor and definitely in that conversation as the best-ever.”
While Jones has yet to make his expected heavyweight divisional bow at the time of publication, the former light heavyweight kingpin has been continually linked with an end-of-year clash against either former champion, Stipe Miocic, or current titleholder, Francis Ngannou.