Kamaru Usman picked up the biggest win of his career by beating the legendary Demian Maia in Brazil but revealed that he was injured for most of the fight.
Kamaru Usman, a man who has been described as the most avoided welterweight on the planet, proved that well and truly belongs in the division’s top-5 with a dominant – albeit slowly paced – performance against Demian Maia at UFC Chile last night.
Maia, who may well be the finest grappler to ever make the transition to MMA, was nullified by ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for the vast majority of the bout’s duration. Many had given Usman a pretty substantial advantage in both power and athleticism heading into this fight but despite the five scheduled rounds being fully utilised, the former Ultimate Fighter winner was unable to secure the finish.
Speaking in his post-fight press conference, Kamaru Usman claimed that he had managed to break – or at least seriously damage – both of his hands in the fight’s opening rounds and as a result, was unable to dish out the kind of punishment the fans might have felt was lacking from the headlining matchup.
‘No excuses, I think I broke my right hand in the second and my left in the third. He’s got a hard head. I felt the right one [break] early. He does a good job blocking those shots with the frontal lobe. It hurt.’
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena