Usman currently occupies the throne at 170 pounds, where he’s defended the gold five times since unseating Tyron Woodley in 2019. Having dispatched Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and Gilbert Burns, “The Nigerian Nightmare” is set for his next challenge, and it’ll come in the form of a familiar foe.
In the main of event of this weekend’s UFC 278 pay-per-view, Usman will run it back with 2015 rival Leon Edwards, with a sixth successful defense in his crosshairs.
But while Usman has the upcoming threat of “Rocky,” as well as the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, Belal Muhammad, and Sean Brady staking their claims to a title opportunity, the champ has sparked talk of a different venture this year.
Having previously admitted to considering the pursuit of champ-champ status at light heavyweight whilst Jan Blachowicz held the belt, Usman has recently done away with one individual as the focus, suggesting that once he’s finished with Edwards in Utah, he’ll turn his attention to the 205-pound landscape.
And while he’s not currently in the mix in his old stomping ground, one name has inevitably come up alongside Usman’s two-division discussions.
Usman On Possible Jones Fight: “If The Money’s Right…”
During his appearance at UFC 278 media day on Wednesday, Usman was asked about the possibility of facing GOAT contender Jon Jones at light heavyweight should he skip middleweight and secure a historical multi-division feat. Usman and Jones have a long history with one another as college friends, with Usman even crediting Jones for playing a large role in his entering the sport.
After noting the size of Jones, who is currently in the midst of a bulk ahead of a move to the heavyweight division in search of his own champ-champ goals, Usman acknowledged the one thing that tends to make far-fetched matchups enter the realms of possibility — money.
“Aye, we gotta chill with these scenarios now (LAUGHS). Nah, Jon is Jon. He’s big as hell,” Usman said. “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,” Usman concluded.
Jones hasn’t appeared inside the Octagon since a 2019 title defense against Dominick Reyes. While he vacated the gold in order to find fresh challenges having largely cleared out his competition at light heavyweight, the division has since been somewhat invigorated by the arrival of Jiří Procházka and the surge of Magomed Ankalaev.
Perhaps the addition of welterweight king Usman to that mix could convince Jones to return to the weight at which he became a two-time titleholder. First things first though, “Bones” needs to secure some history of his own amongst the Goliaths at heavyweight.
How do you think a light heavyweight fight between Kamaru Usman and Jon Jones would play out?