Kamaru Usman recently opened up about his championship status in the UFC.
'The Nigerian Nightmare' is considered one of the top fighters in the promotion. Having defeated the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and Gilbert Burns, he boasts an unbeaten record in the division. Usman has five successful title defenses to his credit along with being the top-ranked men's pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
Kamaru Usman, in a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, opened up about the struggles and expectations that come with being a champion, stating:
"Each and every time you win, you should climb up that ladder. And the pressure gets bigger and bigger and bigger, because now you have more and more to lose each and every time. And now I'm in that position to where I feel that, I see what these guys had to deal with. Every time you win, people don't necessarily care."
The Nigerian welterweight added:
"They want to see [if] there [is] another that's just as good as [me]. They might cheer for you, but something inside wants to... they want to see you humanize. They want to know that you are no better than the average person, and so they want to see you lose. Now, I'm in that position now to where, you know, people will chant against me. They just want to see me lose, and I welcome it."
Watch a clip of Usman's pre-fight preparations in the Instagram post below:
Kamaru Usman gives his opinion on Leon Edwards ahead of bout at UFC 278
Usman is all set to meet Edwards for the second time in the main event of UFC 278. The championship bout is scheduled for August 20 at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
During the same interview, Usman revealed that he still thinks about his first fight with Edwards at UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Cowboy 2. He claimed he has unfinished business with 'Rocky' that he will attempt to take care of in their rematch at UFC 278.
'The Nigerian Nightmare' said:
"And what he said, it stuck with me. I replay the whole first fight, replay his attitude, his mood, his demeanor... He gave me a little shove in that first fight, and I'm still not over it. You know, when we weighed in at our staredown, he gave me a little shove. I'm still not over that, and I don't feel like I got enough in that first fight."
Check out Kamaru Usman's full interview with ESPN MMA below: