John McCarthy doesn’t think it’s a good idea for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to jump to light heavyweight.
Usman (21-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) is set to rematch Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 278 on Aug. 20, and if he’s able to notch his sixth title defense, the champ is contemplating a move up two weight classes to further cement his No. 1 pound-for-pound status.
Usman would skip middleweight simply because his good friend and fellow Nigerian, Israel Adesanya, is the champ at 185 pounds. But McCarthy, former referee and current Bellator analyst, thinks it would be too big of a jump for Usman.
Nothing I can’t handle… but first the English 👊🏿🌍🤴🏿 #P4P #ANDSTILL pic.twitter.com/KJCnGtR4xl
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) July 4, 2022
“I don’t wanna see him do it,” McCarthy said on his “Weighing In” podcast. “I like Kamaru Usman. I think Kamaru Usman’s a phenomenal fighter. I think 170 pounds is a great weight class for him, and 205 is too big.”
Usman has dominated at welterweight, as he’s yet to lose in 15 UFC fights. This includes his March 2019 title win over then-champ Tyron Woodley and subsequent five title defenses against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal twice, as well as former teammate Gilbert Burns.
With Usman gearing up for another rematch in Edwards, McCarthy says he should just continue cementing his legacy at 170 pounds.
“The guy’s got a great gas tank, he’s got great wrestling, his stand up has gotten really good. … He’s a phenomenal MMA fighter, and at 170, dude, he’s the king,” McCarthy said. “Stay the king. Don’t go up that far. We’re talking about 35 pounds of weight class. Thirty-five. Crazy, don’t do it.”