“There needs to be something to give me that added motivation”


Reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is undefeated in the UFC and has just one loss on his professional MMA record, a submission loss he suffered in the early stages of his career. Apart from that, The Nigerian Nightmare has been on a dominant run in the MMA realm.

Speaking to UFC Arabia, Kamaru Usman opened up on multiple topics. Usman notably addressed the possibility of retiring from the sport and stated:

“I mean it’s, you know, it’s always in the back of someone’s mind. But it’s not, I’m not necessarily saying, ‘Alright, I’m gonna retire tomorrow after this, or this and that’. You know, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s the fact that, you know, me just saying that I got into this to compete. I got into this to be the best, and I am. There needs to be something to give me that added motivation and continue to get up every day and train and still be that monster that I am. So, that’s merely what I’m saying because once that’s not there anymore, then, of course, it’s time to turn the page. But, you know, that’s not necessarily something I’m saying tomorrow.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Kamaru Usman emphasized that there ought to be something that serves as added motivation for him to continue working as hard as he does. Usman consistently maintained this stance in the buildup to his UFC welterweight title defense at UFC 261.

Usman was set to face Jorge Masvidal in a rematch at UFC 261 and had frequently claimed that he was looking for something more motivating than beating a foe he’d already gotten the better of in the past.

Could Kamaru Usman retire at the top like his friend Khabib Nurmagomedov?

Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)

The Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal rematch at UFC 261 (April 24th, 2021) witnessed Usman secure a spectacular second-round KO win and successfully defend his UFC welterweight title. Usman earned the honor of becoming the first fighter to KO Masvidal in the UFC, and he’s subsequently earned widespread praise for the noticeable improvements he’s made in the striking department.

Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman’s friend, MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, last fought Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 (October 2020). Nurmagomedov defeated Gaethje via second-round submission, successfully unified the UFC lightweight titles, and then announced his retirement from MMA.

Nurmagomedov is one of the rare combat sports athletes who retired while they were still at the top of their sport. His friend Kamaru Usman has also lately been alluding to possibly retiring at the top. This, in turn, has not gone down well with the next fighter in line to face Usman for the title, Colby Covington.

Published 03 May 2021, 05:25 IST


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