Kamaru Usman has no interest in talking about the heavily-debated UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
Today, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ will step into enemy territory in the hopes of recapturing the UFC welterweight championship he surrendered to current titleholder Leon Edwards in August. Once the promotion’s No. 1 P4P ranked fighter, Usman has since dropped to the No. 5 spot after succumbing to the ‘kick heard ’round the world‘ last year at UFC 278.
Addressing members of the media at a UFC 286 press event on Wednesday, Usman was asked if a win over Edwards should catapult him back to the top of the rankings.
“I don’t care,” Usman responded. “I never really cared. That pound-for-pound was just a conversation piece. I never really said, unless I had to do promos stuff, but I don’t walk around my house telling my daughter, ‘I’m pound-for-pound champ, go to your room.’ I never really cared. It’s a conversation piece so I don’t really put much into that, but that’s a hard conversation to have when Jon Jones is in the picture and he’s the heavyweight champion now.
While Kamaru Usman may not care, fans and analysts have been in a heated debate over the past few months. Much of the conversation started when then-No. 1 ranked fighter Alexander Volkanovski met No. 2 ranked Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 in February. ‘The Great’ came up short in their 25-minute war but retained his No. 1 spot thanks to the closely-contested nature of the bout.
None of that mattered a month later when Jon Jones made his triumphant return, submitting top heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane to capture the UFC heavyweight championship after a three-year-long layoff. The dominant victory immediately moved ‘Bones’ to the top of the rankings which added some additional fuel to the fire.