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Kamaru Usman reveals how adopting Michael Jordan's approach helped him get the win at UFC 258 

Kamaru Usman and Michael Jordan.
Kamaru Usman and Michael Jordan.
Anurag Mitra
Modified 14 Feb 2021

Kamaru Usman has revealed that he shares a similar mindset to one of the NBA's most iconic athletes, Michael Jordan.

The UFC welterweight champion stated that while watching The Last Dance documentary with Jordan himself, Usman realized that his mindset inside the Octagon is very similar to Jordan's during a game.

"I remember watching "The Last Dance" with Michael Jordan and I was like 'this guy thinks like I do', because when I go into competition with these guys, that's how I think."

Going into further detail about his mindset for a fight, Usman said that whenever he enters the Octagon, he feels like he owns it, irrespective of who the fighter standing across him is.

Although Gilbert Burns is his former teammate, Usman refused to touch gloves with him just moments before their main event clash at UFC 258.

When asked why he chose to ignore the gesture of mutual respect before the fight, Kamaru Usman simply claimed that there are no friends inside the Octagon and it's 'every man for himself.'

Usman cited Burns' comments heading into the fight and claimed that it got personal towards the end.

"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 I'm coming to get it. What's more personal than that?"

In 1997, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were followed by a film crew as they went for their sixth NBA title in eight seasons. The Last Dance documentary follows the Bulls' 1997-98 season while also covering Jordan's remarkable career.

The documentary depicts Jordan's life from when he was playing for his high school team to when he became a global icon in the world of sports.

Kamaru Usman proves he's one of the greatest welterweights in UFC history

Gilbert Burns was on a hot streak heading into the fight against Kamaru Usman. Burns is well-rounded and is more than adept at both grappling and striking.

Many people thought Burns would turn out to be Usman's toughest test yet, and the Brazilian showed why by rocking the champ early in the fight with a vicious right hook.

However, Kamaru Usman quickly recovered and took charge of proceedings like he usually does. Usman's improved striking came into play in the second round when he started stinging Burns with nasty jabs.

Usman used his reach advantage to keep Burns at a safe distance and kept tagging away at the Brazilian.

After two knockdowns in the second round, all it took Usman was a perfectly timed straight right to the chin to send a visibly wilting Burns crashing down on the canvas.

Kamaru Usman laid some more ground-and-pound punishment on his fallen opponent before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

With the win, Usman now has the longest winning streak in UFC welterweight history.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 14:07 IST
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