Kamaru Usman not only wants to become welterweight champion on Saturday night at UFC 235 but he hopes to lead the charge to bring the promotion to his native Africa in the very near future.
Born in Nigeria, Usman holds his home country close to his heart and he showed off his pride during the weigh-ins on Friday as he painted his face the same colors as his nation’s flag.
Usman has long talked about the UFC expanding into Africa, especially with so many athletes from the continent currently competing inside the Octagon today.
He believes having a champion from Africa will be the perfect way to tip the scales into his favor to convince the UFC it’s time to go there and put on a show.
“Let’s think about it. We’ve got some big guns,” Usman explained ahead of his fight on Saturday night. “Africans, we’re on the map. Guys really making a splash. Francis Ngannou can headline. Look at a new superstar in Israel Adesanya, also from Nigeria, he can come in and do big things. Look at the young gun we’ve got coming up Sodiq Yusuff. Another beast coming up and then you’ve got Razak Al-Hassan from Ghana. Right there, all these west African countries.
“We can definitely do a card there. You top it off with a title defense. I wouldn’t mind bringing Colby Covington down to Nigeria.”
Usman isn’t the only Nigerian fighter boasting about the viability of bringing a UFC card to Africa in the near future.
Israel Adesanya was also asked about that possibility on Friday at the UFC 236 pre-fight press conference as he prepares to battle for the interim middleweight championship in April.
If one champion isn’t enough to convince the UFC to travel to Africa, “The Last Stylebender” believes two Nigerians holding titles should be plenty.
“He wins, I win, we’ll do a f—king tour around Africa,” Adesanya said about returning to his homeland with Usman. “I mean it will be beautiful.”