Just a few days ago, rising UFC Welterweight contender Kamaru Usman received the news of a lifetime as he was named the reserve #1 contender if for some reason either 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley or current top contender Darren Till had to withdraw from their scheduled UFC Welterweight Championship bout.
With that being the case, Usman says he has a sinking feeling something will occur where one of them will have to be pulled from the fight, mainly because one of them will struggle making 170 lbs.
“For Woodley, it’s not about making the weight, that’s not the issue. He was a wrestler; it’s not about making the weight. If Woodley doesn’t fight it’s about something else. That’s the only reason Woodley is out,” Usman told Luke Thomas on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.”
“With Darren Till, he’s shown that it’s a weight issue. He’s a big guy. It’s not his fault, he’s growing, he’s a human being — he’s a big guy. With Till, it could be a weight issue and it could be something else.”
“That’s how I think of those guys. With Woodley, weight’s not going to be an issue, it’ll be something else. With Till it could be a number of things. I’m ready for either one of them. And I’m ready if nothing happens and I make weight. I did it in college every weekend for free.”
Usman has a hard time believing Till will actually make the UFC Welterweight limit for his U.S. debut fight, after previously failing to do so in last fight when he fought in his home country.
“With that Stephen Thompson fight, [Till] was given ample amount of time. He knew about that awhile. He was training and training and they were basically just trying to get ‘Wonderboy’ to take the fight and fly where they were fighting. You had ample amount of time, you didn’t have to travel, you were in your hometown, you slept in you bed and things still got in the way of you making that weight. Now when you don’t have ample amount of time, you have 48 days to train and get down to weight…I saw him in Vegas he’s a big guy, a really big guy,” he said.
“Now it’s 48 days to make weight and you have to travel to America. It makes it a lot more difficult.”
“The Nigerian Nightmare” went on to compare Till to Anthony Johnson, a fighter that competed as a heavyweight after initially campaigning in the UFC as a welterweight.”
“For [Till] it’s especially tough,” said Usman. “What it reminds me of is Anthony Johnson continuously trying to make 170 back in the day. This was the same struggle and I bet it’s the same for him.”