Kamaru Usman has an opponent in mind for his next fight after Leon Edwards -- but it's not anyone in the welterweight, or even middleweight division -- the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world says he's eyeing a move to light heavyweight!
"A lot of people think I'm joking when I say [I wanna move up]. I wanted to skip -- skip middleweight and I want the light heavyweight belt because I wanna be a two-division champion," Usman told Babcock on the "TMZ Sports" TV show (airs weekdays on FS1).
The 35-year-old, 170 lb. champ continued ... "One, not only am I the best in the world, but I wanna prove that I am the pound-for-pound best, so I'm gonna skip that pound-for-pound, I'm gonna take that light heavyweight belt and I'm gonna defend the belt."
There's a reason Kamaru plans to jump two divisions, and not just move up one and fight at 185 lbs. ... the middleweight champ is Israel Adesanya.
But Usman isn't looking to abandon the division he's ruled for 3.5 years ... the Nigerian Nightmare says he's planning to defend both belts once he beats Jiri.
"I'll defend both belts so people can really understand what it means to be pound-for-pound," Kamaru says ... "Not just this fictitious stuff that they make up. When I actually go up and do it and I walk away from the sport, I'll let you decide what you wanna call me or my legacy."
We also talked to Kamaru about landing a role in the new Black Panther movie ... a project that's incredibly important to the star fighter.
"For one, I'm extremely excited because it's my first one. I knew I was gonna be in movies some point, one day, but to be in that movie, I'm extremely excited because that's a movie that transcends just being a movie star. It's a movie that stands for something, it's a movie that represents something so powerful."
And, it won't be the last film in which Usman appears ... despite the fact people have accused him of being "Hollywood."
"It's crazy 'cause people are 'oh he Hollywood now.' Of course! Ya damn right I'm Hollywood now. I wanted to be Hollywood. What's wrong? You don't want me to be Hollywood?!"
"You want me eat Little Caesars and Ramen noodles in my little shack all day every day for the rest of my life? No, I'm gonna be Hollywood, but one thing they're failing to realize is that it took work to get to this point to be Hollywood."
Usman takes on Leon Edwards for the second time (Kamaru won by unanimous decision in 2015) at UFC 278 Saturday night on ESPN+.
And what comes after that?? We spoke with Dana White about the winner's next opponent ... and he tells us who will "100%" get their shot.