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'Indifference is the enemy' - Daniel Cormier reveals Kamaru Usman's best move to stay in the spotlight

Daniel Cormier (left); Kamaru Usman (right)
Daniel Cormier (left); Kamaru Usman (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
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Daniel Cormier has asserted that ‘indifference is the enemy’ for Kamaru Usman. Cormier believes Usman ought to ensure that the fans care to tune in to watch his fights, regardless of whether it’s because they love him or hate him.

Kamaru Usman is regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world today. However, certain sections of the MMA community have been quite critical of Usman, as they’re of the view that his fighting style and brand of trash talk isn’t fan-friendly and entertaining.

On an edition of DC & Helwani, MMA legend Daniel Cormier and co-host Ariel Helwani opened up on a myriad of topics. Cormier notably spoke about what Kamaru Usman needs to do to break through and continue evolving as a superstar in MMA. Cormier stated:

“First off, I think Usman’s very aware. This pay-per-view (UFC 251) did 1.2-1.3 million buys. And a lot of it was based on Jorge Masvidal. All the intrigue he (Masvidal) has captured so late in his career – from him being on the private plane, the Versace robes, the pizza, The Rock with the (BMF) belt. It was all the rub that he got, all the shine, turned him into a star. Usman recognizes that. In that fight, he was on the paying side of that. Usman is the champ. He gets money. Secondly, and I’m not trying to cr*p on Jorge Masvidal, it was not that difficult of a fight. I fought Frank Mir the same way where I just clinched him. It’s not hard to do that when a guy doesn’t really have the ability to get away from you.”
“There’s minimum risk for the champ. You get to coach The Ultimate Fighter now, seems to be becoming a part of it. And you get to make the most money. Does this pay-per-view do what the last one did? I don’t think so – Because we’ve seen it before. But it still does better than anything else he can do right now. I think it’s fantastic. Put those guys on TUF. Let them argue with each other. And for Usman, I believe, you put him on TUF, it’s gonna go one of two ways. I know the guy. I’ve known the guy for a long time. I like his personality. I like talking to him on the phone. We like to just talk and hang out…But either people are gonna love him after seeing more of him, or they’re gonna hate him even more. But they will come back with an opinion because that’s what you want. Right now, it’s a bit of a Usman can either fight a great fight, or it’s gonna be Masvidal (like Usman’s grappling-heavy approach against Masvidal) – which people didn’t seem to enjoy much because they wanted to see Usman give Masvidal a chance.” Daniel Cormier noted that the fans wanted to see Usman risk facing a dangerous striker like Masvidal in a striking battle, rather than see Usman grapple like he did at UFC 251.
“He doesn’t have to give him a chance. That’s not his obligation. His obligation is to win and provide. So, they’ll either love him or they’ll hate him, which is what you want if you’re Kamaru Usman. Because the one thing you don’t want is indifference. I’ve always said that. Indifference is the enemy. If Kamaru Usman fights a guy that people love, go beat him again, and be on The Ultimate Fighter, it works.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

In a nutshell, Daniel Cormier emphasized that as long as Kamaru Usman elicits a reaction from the fans – love or hate for him – he will grow and thrive as an MMA superstar.

Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal have expressed interest in a rematch

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Kamaru Usman (left); Jorge Masvidal (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Jorge Masvidal (right)

Kamaru Usman’s most recent fight was a third-round TKO win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 (February 13th, 2021). Kamaru Usman’s previous fight was a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 in July 2020 – a fight that Masvidal accepted on six days’ notice.

Masvidal hasn’t competed ever since. Nevertheless, after Kamaru Usman’s UFC 258 victory, both Usman and Masvidal have confirmed that they’re willing to face one another in a rematch.

Which fighter do you see emerging victorious in the UFC welterweight title rematch between current champion Kamaru Usman and potential challenger Jorge Masvidal? Sound off in the comments.

Published 16 Feb 2021, 05:34 IST
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