‘I Am in the Wrong Sport’ -Kamaru Usman Explains Reason Behind Giving Up Wrestling

Published 06/30/2021, 10:15 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 16: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman interacts with the media during the UFC 246 Ultimate Media Day at UFC APEX on January 16, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, is one of the biggest names in the sport at the moment. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the entire UFC roster. However, the road to the top hasn’t always been so smooth for him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In a recent interview with True Geordie, Usman explained what forced him to make the switch from wrestling to MMA. Usman was a wrestler during the earlier days of his career. However, he switched to MMA after not getting paid enough to make for a comfortable lifestyle.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

I’m helping these guys, throwing them around, I am just manhandling some of these guys, of course, they weren’t throwing punches at my face, but, I am man handling these guys. And these guys would go out and compete and win the fight in 25 minutes, and they win 100 grand, 200 grand, 300 grand,” said Usman.

So, where we would train hard, wrestling is such a gruelling sport. We train so hard, fly to Russia, maybe win such a difficult tournament and you get 2000, 3000. It’s like as a man I’m 24 now, I wanna be able to take a hot girl out on a date in the weekend. And, you trying to tell me I can’t even afford that? I can’t even afford to take a girl out on a date?” he added.

I can’t even afford to buy a couple of rum and cokes for the girl at the bar? So, it’s like, something’s gotta change here. I always worked out with this guy and I was manhandling these guys, and I just made 200 grand? Oh no, I am in the wrong sport. And so, that kind of started to creep in my mind that maybe I needed to make a change,” Usman concluded.

Did Kamaru Usman make the right choice to shift careers?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Olympics is a different type of competition and it requires a lifetime of devotion. Also, one might argue that the compensation doesn’t always justify the efforts put in by an athlete.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 13: (R-L) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria punches Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 258 event at UFC APEX on February 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Given the heights he has been able to reach in the UFC, he will definitely look back at his choice and consider it as the right one for his career. What’s next for ‘The Nigerian Nightmare‘ in the promotion, remains to be seen. However, he is expected to stay as the champion for a considerable amount of time to come.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Sean O’Malley Gets Offered a Short- Notice Fight by 3 Big UFC Names

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Apratim Banerjee

1027 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT