Kamaru Usman says every time he goes into a fight he doesn’t view himself as the champion.
Usman has defended his welterweight title five times since he won it back in March of 2019. Yet, since he became the champ, he has always told himself he is the challenger going into every fight as he believes champions lose their hunger to win.
"I don't think of myself as the champ.. I think of myself as the challenger every time I step in the cage because the challenger is always the hungriest" ~@USMAN84kg#PMSLive pic.twitter.com/JP6rFjoE2M
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 12, 2022
“I’m going to be honest, when those older fighters say that, I understand what they say when they say that, I completely understand what they are saying. When you get there, you would think, oh you are now a champion everything else is smoother. No, that’s not the case at all,” Usman said to The Pat McAfee show on Thursday. “The pressure continues to build because with each and every fight there is more and more riding on it. For me, it’s just a matter of I don’t think of myself as, hey I’m the champ and I’m going out there to defend the belt. For me, I’m a challenger each and every time I step in there. You think about it, who’s the challenger? The number one challenger is usually the hungriest guy in the world because they have never tasted this, they want this. I’m in the same mindset each and every time when I prepare for these fights. When I get in there, there is nothing these guys can do that I haven’t seen or that I’m not ready for.”
Kamaru Usman certainly has a point as title challengers are normally super hungry as they want to be the best and become a world champ. Yet, it appears ‘The Nigerian’s Nightmare’s’ mindset is a big difference in what makes him great.
Usman is currently rehabbing his hand and will likely face Leon Edwards sometime later this year.
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