In 1974, Muhammad Ali shocked the world by defeating George Foreman in a fight that was known as the "Rumble In The Jungle." Hosted in Zaire, the heavyweight showdown brought out upwards of 60,000 people. Forty-seven years later, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman believes that a UFC event featuring several champions from across the continent could bring out an even larger audience. During a recent interview with ESPN, Usman called on UFC President Dana White to host an event on the continent in the coming months.
"We all know the significance of the Rumble in the Jungle, the fight with [Muhammad Ali and George Foreman] here in Africa, and how massive that was and I think UFC would easily be bigger than that," Usman said.
The Nigerian welterweight champion is not the only fighter with African roots and a major commercial appeal. UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou is from Cameroon and UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya is also from Nigeria. As a result, White is looking at hosting an event on the continent in 2022.
"One of the cool things is right now we have three African champions...One of the many monumental times in my career, but one of the things that I've always wanted to do is have a fight in Africa," White said during a recent podcast interview.
"The Ali-Foreman 'Rumble in the Jungle,' all that stuff I remember growing up, I haven't had mine yet. But it's coming. We're looking at Africa in 2022, so I'm really looking forward to that."
In the meantime, White continues to build out his schedule for 2021. Most notably, Usman is expected to fight title challenger Colby Covington at Madison Square Garden in November. Francis Ngannou is also expected to defend his title later this year in a fight that is expected to feature Ciryl Gane.