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Kamaru Usman Eyeing Move To Middleweight But Only If Israel Adesanya Vacates The Title

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Kamaru Usman Eyeing Move To Middleweight But Only If Israel Adesanya Vacates The Title

They're arguably the two most dominant champions in the UFC at the moment.

But a strong friendship that exists far beyond fighting means Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya won't ever lay a glove on each other.

And even after demolishing Gilbert Burns to retain his welterweight title, Nigerian-born Usman admits he's hungry for a second belt but knows that's not possible while his buddy Adesanya is still champ.

Usman is refusing to rule out a move up to the middleweight division, but insists he would only do it if Adesanya vacates the 185-pound title.

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Which, if you think about it, could genuinely happen.

Israel Adesanya. Credit: PA
Israel Adesanya. Credit: PA

After wiping out the rest of the competition at middleweight, Nigerian-born New Zealander Adesanya will now step up a weight class himself and fight Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title.

If he's successful, there's a slight chance he could vacate his middleweight title some time down the line.

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But if Adesanya chooses to keep hold of both his belts, Usman admits he values their friendship too much to even think about entering into the middleweight division.

"Absolutely, absolutely. If Izzy's willing to move up - well he is moving up, but if he's willing to give up that 185 belt and says 'I have nothing to do with that anymore,' then absolutely I would entertain that thought," Usman told ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

"On no account right now would I ever entertain going up to fight Izzy. That's just not something that I'm interested in. I've stated over and over before, I'd rather two Africans with belts as opposed to one African with two belts. After March, it's gonna be three Africans with four belts. It's a good time to be an African."

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In recent times we've seen former training partners and best mates (namely Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal) publicly fall out in their pursuit of UFC gold.

But it seems fellow countrymen Usman and Adesanya aren't going to let their successes inside the octagon come between their friendship outside of it.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@usman84kg

Topics: welterweight, UFC, Australia, MMA, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman

Max Sherry
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