UFC light heavyweight number one contender Jiří Procházka has given his thoughts on the idea of Kamaru Usman transitioning to 205 pounds.
Having long reigned over the welterweights, Usman reached another mountaintop last year. After closing the gap to Georges St-Pierre in the 170-pound GOAT conversation, even surpassing the Canadian in the eyes of some, “The Nigerian Nightmare” found himself in the coveted #1 spot in the UFC’s male pound-for-pound rankings.
While his position in the GOAT debate, both at welterweight and across all divisions, is up for debate, not many could build a solid case to dispute Usman’s status as P4P number one.
Since dominantly dethroning Tyron Woodley in 2019, the Nigerian-born star has gone on to defend the belt against Colby Covington, twice, Jorge Masvidal, twice, and Gilbert Burns.
Having defeated the majority of top contenders before, and being set to continue his second lap around them in his next defense, expected to be versus Leon Edwards, Usman has considered pursuing success in other pastures and proving his P4P dominance.
During a recent interview with GQ, Usman revealed that he once trained his aim on a potential super fight with Jan Blachowicz when the Pole was light heavyweight champion.
“I was going to skip Israel (Adesanya) and go fight Jan at 205 (pounds),” Usman said. “Because I’m pound-for-pound, I want to prove it. No matter what weight it is, I thought he was a really good matchup for me.”
Now, during a recent interaction with The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko, #2-ranked light heavyweight Procházka has given his take on how Usman would fare at 205 pounds.
While he didn’t write off the welterweight titleholder’s chances, the Czech knockout artist was surprised to hear Usman’s confidence of how a matchup with Blachowicz would go and suggested his speed and power wouldn’t translate well to light heavyweight.
“Man, Kamaru Usman? Woah. He will be the big challenge,” said Procházka. “I don’t want to think about Kamaru Usman as an opponent right now, but I think he will be not so quick in our division, and the power, too, will be not on the same level like in our weight. He’s two weights under us, yes? Yeah, so that will be the challenge for him and a little problem.
“He will beat Jan, that’s what he said? Adesanya didn’t beat Jan, and he thinks he will do that?” Procházka added. “That’s a big and strong word, man. I’m not in his position; he defended in his weight many times and he proved he is a very big name in the fights, but this is very strong.”
Procházka May Become Champion Before An Usman Arrival
While he’s not interested in considering a potential clash with Usman down the line just yet, Jiří Procházka may be in a position to do so if he emerges triumphant in his next Octagon outing.
Since arriving in the UFC in 2020, Procházka has lived up to his reputation; knockouts, elbows, crazy striking, and more knockouts.
After sleeping Volkan Oezdemir on debut, “Denisa” met former title challenger Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC Vegas 25 last May. In the second round of what many consider to have been an underrated Fight of the Year contender, Procházka brutally knocked “The Devastator” out with a spinning back elbow.
Now, with an emphatic first impression and even more impressive sophomore showing behind him, the Czech star has cemented his spot as the next challenger to the throne. He’ll have his chance to win UFC gold at UFC 274 on May 7 when he challenges newly-crowned champ Glover Teixeira.
While a victory will likely lead to a grudge match with Aleksandar Rakić or a bout with former champ Blachowicz, Procházka may also have Usman’s name on his mind moving forward.
Should both men continue their winning ways in the promotion, and should Usman and Adesanya’s reluctance to fight remain, perhaps “The Nigerian Nightmare” will be forced to climb to light heavyweight in order to find two-division success.
If he does so, “Denisa” may be waiting…
How do you think Kamaru Usman would fare against Jiří Procházka at light heavyweight?
Posted from Source