‘I’m Smoking and They Burning Up’- Kamaru Usman

Published 05/24/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 16: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria celebrates after knocking out Sergio Moraes of Brasil in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the PPG Paints Arena on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman spoke out via his social media and engaged with fans in a Q&A session. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ ran through several questions pertaining to Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and his own future as the divisional champion. Usman’s profile has shot up drastically in recent times given the frequency and potency of his last few octagon appearances.

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In a matter of months, Kamaru Usman defended his belt twice, once against Gilbert Burns, and then in a rematch against Jorge Masvidal. He’s now becoming a household name as his fighting style has evolved towards securing thunderous TKO finishes. Moreover, the UFC is now backing Usman’s journey towards becoming the pound-for-pound GOAT as he takes on all comers.

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Kamaru Usman: Geared for greatness

Apart from answering questions about his rivals, fans also asked him about his own training and pre-fight preparation. Specifically, a fan wanted to know Usman built up stamina without putting in roadwork. Chiefly, it’s well known that Usman’s knees are compromised, and he has to resort to unorthodox techniques when it comes to endurance training.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman poses on stage during the UFC 245 press conference at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Everything that I do, every session that I go through I have to mentally hit a certain level. I got to push myself to a certain level, so I’m used to being in the fire. Being in shape, a lot of people think it’s just from running or roadwork, that’s not necessarily true. You can run all you want, you can get all the road work you want, but when you get in there and it’s time to go to work, that adrenaline hits you.”

“Your heart rate elevates and you look like you never ran a day in your life. So it’s not necessarily all about that. I just put myself in the fire to where when I come out of there, I’m smoking. I’m smoking and they burning up.”

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It’s evident that Kamaru Usman’s supreme dominance in the cage is a direct result of his intense training. The Nigerian-born champion leaves it all on the training room floor and is able to get legacy-defining results in the cage. He’ll look at continuously improving various facets of the game to ensure he remains at the top of the mountain.

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Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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