Kamaru Usman Says He Needs to Trust Himself More After Khamzat Chimaev Performance

Kamaru Usman, a dynamic and widely recognized fighter, believes he could have given a bit more in his short-notice middleweight fight against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294. Usman’s participation in the match was acknowledged for his gritty performance against Chimaev. The fight was a three-round co-main event headlined by a championship rematch, where Usman competed courageously. However, from the start, Chimaev’s dominant wrestling and control in the first round seemed to have positioned Usman slightly behind on the scorecards.

The subsequent rounds were neck and neck. Although Usman appeared to have a slight edge in striking, Chimaev managed to showcase his efficient grappling capabilities all through the match. The fight culminated with Borz heightening his impressive mixed martial arts record to a stellar 13-0 by earning a majority decision victory over Usman, a former welterweight champion.

During his post-fight interview with Megan Olivi, Usman was candid about his sub-par start to the fight. Reflecting on his performance, he stated, “If anything that I can say I take away from tonight it’s that I need to trust myself more, trust my coaches. We’ll be back. You know, coming off the couch in 10 days and fighting a young hungry bull like that who’s big and strong and has had a year and a half to really grow into this weight class and I didn’t and I think I didn’t trust my shape. I’m a championship fighter, and you can’t start slow like that. I say give me a couple of extra rounds, I think the world knows what that result might be.”

Drawing to the close of his remarks, Usman acknowledged that he didn’t have ample time to prepare appropriately for a match against a specialist such as Chimaev. However, a similar sentiment could be said for Chimaev who was originally slated to face Paulo Costa in Abu Dhabi. Despite being on a three-fight losing skid, Usman, also known as “The Nigerian Nightmare,” is nowhere finished and anticipates returning to the Octagon soon, evidently at middleweight once again. He said, “It’s a tough one. You know I’ll take a little bit of time, just a little bit and I’m back in the gym. I don’t mind it. I think he’s (Chimaev) going to fight for the title. I’ll take du Plessis, co-main, UFC 300. Why not?”

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