"I want to be bigger than Dwayne Johnson"- Kamaru Usman talks about what keeps him going at this stage of his career
Kamaru Usman is currently the greatest mixed martial artist on the planet. His dominance of the UFC's welterweight division has led to him being the promotion's No.1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter.
Usman will look to defend his belt for the sixth time at UFC 278. On the media day for the event, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' claimed that he is still driven despite his fame.
Kamaru Usman will take on Leon Edwards, the No.2-ranked welterweight, at UFC 278. Although Usman detailed how obsessed he is with competing, his opponent believes that money and fame have changed him.
Usman was asked about Edwards' comments comparing him to actor Terry Crews. He responded by noting that he continues to work hard to become even bigger, stating (starting at the 5:56 mark):
"I put the work in and I got that, but that doesn't stop me. I want to be bigger than Dwayne Johnson. Bigger than him, so that means I need more work. So, this notion of when people say 'oh, you're Hollywood now, it's going to his head', I think it's ridiculous to me, and if he's thinking that, it's the biggest misconception, it'll be a short night for him come Saturday night."
For someone like Usman, who has reached the top of the mountain, the only way to remain driven is to find new motivation. The motivation to be bigger than The Rock, one of the most famous people on the planet, will drive Usman, both inside the octagon and outside.
Watch Kamaru Usman's full media day appearance below (courtesy of MMA Junkie):
Dana White's take on Kamaru Usman's all-time UFC ranking
Kamaru Usman has established himself as one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time. UFC President Dana White has labeled him as the greatest welterweight of all-time, very high praise considering that Georges St-Pierre fought as a welterweight.
Although Dana White left Kamaru Usman out of his top-five UFC fighters, many believed that the list was motivated by who brought the UFC money. His recent ringing endorsements of Usman's career speak volumes.
Besides stating that he has surpassed St-Pierre, White also stated that a victory over Leon Edwards at UFC 278 would put Usman at the level of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' now has an opportunity to make history at UFC 278 by defeating Edwards, a victory that White made seem all but guaranteed.
While Edwards is at the top of his game, Usman just doesn't seem beatable at this stage of his career. Anything can happen in mixed martial arts, but picking Usman to lose for the first time in his UFC career seems unwise. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' continues to climb the all-time ranks and every title defense moves him closer to the top.