Jan Blachowicz Welcomes Light Heavyweight Matchup Against Kamaru Usman

UFC
May 27, 2024
Kamaru Usman believes he is big enough to fight at light heavyweight.

At UFC 276, then-welterweight champ Usman (20-4) squared off with Jan Blachowicz (29-10-1) in July 2022. Although competing 35 pounds apart, “The Nigerian Nightmare” did not give up much size to the former light heavyweight champion. Blachowicz measures two inches taller while also holding a two-inch advantage in reach, but Usman’s last three outings saw him square off against a 6-foot-2 opponent.

Usman recently brought up his faceoff with Blachowicz, reiterating the similarity in their sizes. While Blachowicz is known to pack immense power, Usman still believes he has the stylistic advantage over the top Polish contender. According to Usman, he could handle Blachowicz on the feet if he tires him out with grappling.

“You see me. You see my arms next to his,” Usman remarked to Henry Cejudo during their “Pound 4 Pound Show” on Thursday. “I was like, ‘Yo!’ Everybody was talking about ‘He’s a light heavyweight’ but I was out there thick on him… I was thick on him, I’m telling you. I wouldn’t have called for 205 pounds if I didn’t think at that point that the style favored me and I could do it.”

Usman continued, “Listen, everybody’s got power when the fight starts, but you grab their leg, and you drag him down once, twice, make him work up and work up, the fight completely changes. And that’s exactly what I was gonna do. Glover Teixeira did the exact same thing, too… Eventually, fatigue makes cowards of us all. So, you wear somebody down enough, he might make me look like Mike Tyson. That’s why I like that fight.”

Taking note of Usman’s comments, Blachowicz called “The Nigerian Nightmare” out for a light heavyweight clash.

“If you still feel the same about it [Kamaru Usman], let’s go. I will be ready,” Blachowicz retorted on social media.

Blachowicz hasn’t competed since a split decision loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 291 in July 2023. The former 205-pound champ has only won once since losing his strap to Teixeira in 2021, prevailing over Aleksandar Rakic when Rakic injured his knee. The two were slated to run it back in January, but Blachowicz was forced out of the UFC 297 pairing when he needed shoulder surgery. Meanwhile, former 170-pound king Usman is on a three-fight slump, with back-to-back title losses against Leon Edwards and an unsuccessful middleweight debut against Khamzat Chimaev.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Jan-Blachowicz-Welcomes-Light-Heavyweight-Matchup-Against-Kamaru-Usman-193824

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