Kamaru Usman potentially has the biggest challenge ahead of him. He’ll be defending his title against challenger Leon Edwards at UFC 278. The bout has long been in the making but was shelved when the pandemic hit and Edwards was stuck in United Kingdom, unable to make his way to the US.
Kamaru Usman is 35 years old but there are rumors of retirement looming. Previously Usman tried to make a big boxing payday against Canelo Alvarez happen repeatedly but there were no bites – UFC is reluctant to get in the business again after McGregor’s outing in 2017 so much so that they’re letting Ngannou’s contract expire. He’s made it known that a boxing exhibition opportunity must be a part of any new contract he signs.
Back in January of 2020, Usman wen on the Joe Rogan Experience and revealed:
“In wrestling years, I gotta be late 40s in wrestling years. I’m late 40s – I mean my back is shot. My you know, my shoulders are shot, my knee. My knees. Oh my God, my knees. I’ve had five knee surgeries. ”
“I just had surgery actually had surgery on Tuesday. I had a double hernia.”
“I tore it before like five weeks before the () and but I don’t know if it was completely off. ”
Usman also described how he would limp through media days ahead of bouts:
” Like if you saw me you would think this guy was like a zombie, like I limp around I freaking lidocaine patches on me and I’m in a boot or sleeve and and all I do all day is I go do the media rounds or whatever I need to do training come back and I’m just in my room. ”
Usman is a heavy 3:1 favorite heading into this weekend but the fans spotted something that raised quite a few eyebrows.
“I think the best thing Kamaru did, you know, [was to] take some time off. I’ve never seen him this motivated. He’s having fun, he’s enjoying the week. Normally, Kamaru is not the nicest guy during fight week. [But] he’s been great all week, He’s making jokes, laughing and he’s in phenomenal shape.”