At this issue in his vocation, Kamaru Usman has obviously recognized himself as the leading welterweight on the earth, but the reigning UFC champion states he’s no much less driven to continue to keep proving his doubters wrong.
“It’s amusing, essentially – I’ve even now got that chip on my shoulder,” Usman advised MMA Junkie. “It’s truly nearly even larger now, and it’s mainly because even with all of that, for some explanation, people continue to really do not want to give you the regard that you should have for the reason that of probably their own desire. But it is what it is.”
Usman’s increase to the leading of the UFC’s 170-pound division wasn’t a rapid 1. Right after serving as the profitable fighter in the finals of the group-dependent “The Best Fighter 21,” Usman would have to make yet another 8 consecutive victories before acquiring a crack at the title. When his win streak was impressive, his grinding, wrestling-primarily based fashion did not necessarily make Usman a admirer-most loved.
But even the most cynical of critics would unquestionably wrestle to locate fault in any of his recent wins above the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley, Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia – several of which were rather just one-sided affairs.
But “The Nigerian Nightmare” reported even he results in being a the most liked athlete in the video game, he’s always heading to have a little edge.
“That chip is even now on my shoulder since when I obtained into this, it wasn’t for legacy,” Usman stated. “It was not for fame or money or anything at all of that nature. It was just only to compete and demonstrate that I am the finest, that I can be the most effective at my time. And so that was my mentality, and it’s nevertheless my frame of mind. Which is the most significant factor that drives me, is competitors. So as lengthy as there is competitiveness out there, and as extended as I’m – and which is the biggest detail: I have to be straightforward with myself. As very long as I’m honest with myself, and continue to able and in a position to do it, I want to be the ideal. So that chip is still large on my shoulder.”
Usman has already acquired two productive defenses of his title, and he’ll get a chance at a third at UFC 258, which requires area Feb. 13 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Usman (17-1 MMA, 12- UFC) faces former training associate Gilbert Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) in the night’s principal occasion. Stylistically, it’s an intriguing matchup, with “Durinho” supplying energy on the toes but also extremely unsafe jiu-jitsu that could verify problematic for a grappling-heavy assault.
But Usman has located a way to certainly shut down opponents in new decades, and he thinks his psychological toughness has fueled that good results and can do it again.
“My intellect is far better than all these guys in the division correct now, to where it relies upon on him,” Usman reported. “Those guys dictate how this thing is going to go. If they’ve accomplished their research the correct way and they appear prepared, then they might be in a position to pull out a distinctive battle out of me, like you noticed in the Covington battle. He came well prepared, and he pulled out that variety of combat from me. But if you never appear ready, it’s heading to be just one-sided, like every single final a single of my fights. It’s heading to be a just one-sided beating, so I’ll leave that up to him.
“We have not experienced alongside one another in pretty some time, so I’ve added some new wrinkles to my game that I’m quite positive they really don’t see coming, so we’ll see how it goes, but I’m sitting at the top.”
Verify out the entire interview with Usman in the online video down below.