Kamaru Usman Reveals How Him and Canelo Alvarez Have Similar Game Plans

Published 06/17/2021, 8:09 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria enters the octagon during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is a force to reckon with not just in the welterweight division, but in the UFC in its entirety. Until now, the Nigerian is undefeated in 14 fights in UFC and has overpowered his opponents almost every time he has stepped into the octagon. But his critics have always questioned his brand of fighting.

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Many sports pundits and fans alike have termed his competing as less flashy. It has more wrestling and slow stuff than some exhilarating striking. His fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 was also termed as ‘boring’ by many sections of the fighting society.

May 8, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Canelo Alvarez (teal trunks) and Billy Joe Saunders (blue green trunks) during a super middleweight boxing title fight at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

But the Nigerian-born fighter has repeatedly shown that he is undeterred by such criticisms. In a recent interview with True Geordie, he talked about the same stuff and also drew parallels with the Mexican boxing legend, Canelo Alvarez.

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“We know how to build a fight, you know,” he said. “And while, the fight is taking place, we know how to get into the fight and we break down our opponents and that’s one thing that Canelo does very, very well.”

“He knows how to take his time in round 1, round 2, round 3, round 4. The guy still looks good. Now, especially in his last fight with Billy Joe Saunders, he still looked good.”

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‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ further explained that as their opponents hit the wall after some time, they (Usman and Canelo) continue pushing forward. According to him, as their opponents get weaker and weaker, they simultaneously improve and dominate.

What’s next for Kamaru Usman?

Usman (19-1) silenced his critics when he demolished ‘Gamebred’ en route to the TKO win at UFC 261. He has now defeated almost every top contender in the welterweight division.

However, out of all his recent fights, the one opponent who gave him a run for money was none other than Colby Covington. Both superstars fought at UFC 245 in what was termed as an instant classic. And in all likelihood, ‘Chaos’ will be next for Usman.

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President Dana White has already termed ‘Chaos’ as the number 1 contender for Usman’s belt. Although Leon Edwards has made a strong claim for the title challenge, White is adamant on ‘Chaos’ facing ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’.

And although Covington is the best of rest, it would still be a herculean task for him to dethrone Usman.

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Do you agree with Usman comparing his style with Canelo Alvarez?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

385 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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