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Morning Report: Joe Rogan wants to see Kamaru Usman box Canelo Alvarez: ‘I think it would be invaluable experience for him’

UFC 245: Usman v Covington
Joe Rogan with Kamaru Usman
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

For several months now, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has been talking about a potential crossover boxing match against Canelo Alvarez. As the top pound-for-pound fighters in their respective sports, Usman vs. Canelo would be an unprecedented event, and one that UFC commentator Joe Rogan would love to see.

“I would like to see him fight Canelo, I really would,” Rogan said on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast. “Not because I think that he’s a favorite in a boxing match against one of the greatest boxers of all-time, but I want to see him get a giant payday. The same way I would like to see [Francis] Ngannou fight Tyson Fury. That’s a way you can make a s***-load of money, and I don’t think it damages his potential as a UFC fighter. I think it would be invaluable experience for him, as a champion, if he did have that fight and then came back over to MMA. I think he’d probably be even better as a striker if he gets through it relatively undamaged, even if he loses.”

Usman first floated the idea of a fight with Canelo last year as he was preparing for his rematch with Colby Covington, saying he wanted to see the contenders actually step up and make him excited. Usman has continued to press the narrative and though Canelo was initially against the idea, he has since come around to it, saying he wouldn’t rule out the matchup. One man who did rule it out though is UFC President Dana White, who called the bout “a stupid fight that makes no sense” because Usman is not a boxer and Canelo is the best boxer in the world. But though it’s hard to argue with those two points, Rogan believes that Usman could potentially surprise some people, through sheer will power alone.

“He’s gonna feel some pain,” Rogan said. “It’s not the same sport, but he’s a dude that knows how to win. You have to understand this guy’s mindset, his knees are destroyed... His knees are f***** but he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t run, but he never runs out of cardio. Everything he does is just drive. All the plyometrics and all the strength and conditioning stuff he does in the gym, he’s doing it with f***** up knees. All the wrestling drills, he’s doing it with f***** up knees.”

Usman last fought at UFC 268, winning a unanimous decision in his rematch with Colby Covington. He is next expected to defend his title against Leon Edwards later this year. Meanwhile, Canelo most recently unified all the super middleweight belts by knocking out Caleb Planet this past November (coincidentally on the same night Usman defeated Covington). He will next defend his WBA light heavyweight title against Dmitry Bivol in May.


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