Kamaru Usman believes that an extra two rounds against Khamzat Chimaev could have helped earn him a victory.
After a late withdrawal of Paulo Costa, Kamaru Usman stepped in on just 10 days notice, up a weight class, against one of the UFC’s most fierce up-and-comers. After surviving a dominant first round, Usman produced a spirited effort against Khamzat Chimaev and would make the fight competitive.
Media scorecards varied massively, having it Usman, Chimaev and draw, and whatever they may be Usman gave a very good account of himself.
Kamaru Usman wanted championship rounds
Reflecting on the contest, Usman felt that an additional two rounds could have changed the outcome. Usman was taken down on several occasions, on a level which he has never had to deal with and talking to ESPN he felt as if the preparations played a key role in this.
“It’s miscalculations for me,” Usman said. “That’s part of camp. For me, I’m a wrestler, that’s why I love to wrestle. I love to really put time in in camp and really prepare for those positions, and I didn’t necessarily get the time to really put the grappling in to be able to stop those takedowns. I don’t give up positions like that. That’s the part that I’m mostly disappointed about is giving up those positions, because I didn’t have adequate time to prepare.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
The Nigerian Nightmare’ has spent the majority of the past few years preparing for and fighting in five round contested as the former welterweight champion.
“But that’s no excuse. He’s as advertised. He’s big, he’s strong, and — I’m a championship fighter,” Usman said. “I need those extra two rounds. I can’t start slow like that. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a three-round fight, but that kid’s as advertised. He’s tough and I give him all the props.”
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