“He’s Done as a Champion” – Kamaru Usman Comments on Conor McGregor

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UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman recently discussed Conor McGregor on an episode of I AM ATHLETE. The Nigerian-American fighter sat down with Brandon Marshall, Adam “Pacman” Jones, LeSean “Shady” McCoy, and D.J. Williams,  to discuss his life story, and fighting in the UFC. The hosts asked the 35-year-old athlete about the future of the Irishman and if Usman would ever face McGregor.

Kamaru Usman on Conor McGregor – It’s about the money

“He’s not necessarily done, but he’s done as a champion.” Usman continued, “This is my perspective because when I fight guys I study their hearts and I watch fights I watch their hearts. And for me, he’s done. He’s done because … the goal was to get the money, right.” The Welterweight World Champion explains that McGregor, at his core was primarily motivated by making money. Once he had money, he lost the drive, according to Usman.

“There’s a story about him,” Usman said, “He was broke … for me, it seemed like it was about not being broke, you know. I agree with that so I understand that. Now he’s not broke. But how are you going to be champion? Because that’s what drove you to become champion. Because you didn’t want to be broke and now you’re not broke anymore.”

Usman vs. McGregor?

Earlier this year, the Irish-born former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight World Champion called for a fight against “The Nigerian Nightmare.” In March, McGregor said, “Myself versus Usman for the 170-pound title in my comeback fight is the one I’m eyeballing at the minute. Why cut the weight? I’ve already won the 155-pound title. I got myself to a lightweight frame, but you know, I’m big now. I feel big. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I’ve got good energy. I’m coming back from a gruesome injury. I don’t want to be depleting myself. There should be no need to deplete myself. And I feel confident against Usman — a jab-happy, sloppy, orthodox wrestler with no submissions whatsoever. What’s he going to do? Where’s the danger here? I don’t see the danger. … No one has ever obtained three titles in three divisions like I will do if we make this fight.”

While on I AM ATHLETE, Usman was asked about the prospect of facing McGregor, and he answered, “Absolutely, yeah. I’ll grab that check … Conor McGregor don’t want this work.” The Nigerian-American athlete also added that Conor just says these things to keep the media mentioning him. “He’s very strategic. He is. He’s just throwing these out because he knows as soon as I throw it out, ten of these people gonna write about it, get it up everywhere.”

Usman also discussed his upcoming August 20 fight against Leon Edwards at UFC 278. See below for the full interview featuring “The Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman.

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Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. He has been an avid follower of these sports since 2005. Tim is a host alongside Frazer Krohn on the MMA Sucka Podcast.

With MMA Sucka, Tim has contributed interviews, articles, and podcasts. He has also represented MMA Sucka in person at live Bellator and GLORY Kickboxing events.

Tim also works with a host of other media sites such as Calf Kick Sports, Sportskeeda MMA, Low Kick MMA, Vecht Sport Info, Fighters First, and Beyond Kickboxing. Tim is is the authority on kickboxing and MMA journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.

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