How Trevor Wittman Has Transformed Kamaru Usman

Published 04/24/2021, 3:39 PM 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)


UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman returns to action this weekend at UFC 261 as he defends his title against Jorge Masvidal between the duo.

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Usman is pushing himself up in the G.O.A.T list of the welterweight division with every passing fight. A second triumph against a veteran like Masvidal will further elevate his case.

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’changed camps last year ahead of his proposed fight against Gilbert Burns. Burns and Usman trained in the same gym and knew one another inside out.

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He ended up fighting Masvidal instead at UFC 251, but it was only fitting the champion wanted to implement something new in his game. He joined one of the best in the business, Trevor Wittman.

Wittman has certainly made some exciting changes in the champion’s game. Usman fought Burns recently at UFC 258 and his rejuvenated striking game was on display.

Especially his jab. Usman’s jab troubled Burns throughout the fight and eventually proved to be the decisive shot as it earned the champion a knockdown.

How have Trevor Wittman’s methods impacted Kamaru Usman

Wittman doesn’t have a conventional method of training his fighters. The style difference between two of his most famous pupils, Justin Gaethje and Rose Namajunas, suggests the same.

‘The Highlight’ is a brawler and every fight brings entertainment to the fans like none other. Namajunas, on the other hand, is very technical in her approach to a fight.

Wittman has certainly brought something new to the table in terms of the various problems the champion offers to his opponent.

His striking looks on point and has served him immensely in recent times. Usman, an accomplished wrestler, now also depends on his stand-up game. Certainly, this has changed his approach to his fights.

With each passing fight, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare‘ seems to reach new heights. He came into the title fight against Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 as a relatively unknown fighter.

He dismantled ‘T-Wood‘, who is considered one of the greatest welterweights of all time. Defenses against Covington, Masvidal, and Burns followed.

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Can Usman get the better of Masvidal for the second time? Let us know.

 

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Apratim Banerjee

706 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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