Kamaru Usman revealed the hardest part about having to fight Gilbert Burns in the post-fight press conference of his title defense against Burns at UFC 258. In an emotional post-fight interview, Kamaru Usman said the following:
"I almost started bawling, because I know what that loss feels like. I have a loss in my record. I'm not perfect. I know how much he wanted this. Like I said....We grew up in this sport together, we had a common goal and having to be the one to do that to him (Gilbert Burns), it almost broke me in there."
Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns have been former stable mates in the now defunct Blackzillians and Sanford MMA. Kamaru Usman moved to a camp outside Florida for the first time to train under coach Trevor Wittman in 2020. Kamaru Usman said after the fight:
"I know this one's going to be tough for (Burns), but he's a champion in his own way and he'll get back on the horse and I'll be more than happy to go to dinner with him."
Kamaru Usman is leagues apart
However, Kamaru Usman also stated that his fight IQ is on another level compared to his counterparts. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' claimed that he leaves personal relationships outside the Octagon and is a different animal inside.
"My mind is different than these guys when we get in there. I see no face. That is my octagon... He said I have something he wants and he's coming to get it. What's more personal than that?"
Kamaru Usman also mentioned that his former team resorting to trolling him on social media also helped him in the fight.