Kamaru Usman Talks Potential Jake Paul Fight, Top UFC Fighters Ever, More in B/R AMA

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 17, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL - APRIL 25: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria celebrates his victory over Jorge Masvidal of the United States during the Welterweight Title bout of UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 25, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Kamaru Usman retained his welterweight title with a second-round knockout of Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 less than two weeks ago. In addition to being the top-ranked welterweight, he's also slotted second to Jon Jones in the pound-for-pound rankings

The 34-year-old doesn't have his next bout set just yet, but since his win against Masvidal, he hasn't ruled out taking on YouTuber Jake Paul, who is taking the fighting world by storm. Joining B/R for an AMA on Monday, he addressed that further and also shared his motivation, favorite cheat meal, advice to young fighters and more.

@cali_sports: When did you decide you wanted to fight for a living?

In 2012, wrestling wasn’t cutting it anymore and it was tough for me to go out there and prepare. If you win the tournament overseas, you get like $5k. At that point in 2012, not making the Olympic trials, I think that was when I realized I wanted to try something new.

@geetic: In a dream world where you could fight any fighter in their prime to test your skills, who would it be?

Canelo right now. All these great boxers, but I think fighting Canelo right now would be bigger.

@sportsmega18: The favorite fight of your career so far was which one?

The fight against Covington. I went to a place in that fight that you shouldn’t go very much. And that’s when you fall in love with fighting, with the hits, taking punches, giving punches. That’s how you learn something that you can’t learn any other way, and that’s that I’m a man that is willing to stand here and willing to die here. Just to make sure I get my point across that I am better than you on this day.

@DirkHive: It looks like Colby Covington could be next on the list. Are you taking it and if you did what would happen? 

It’s not whether I’m taking it, it’s if I feel inspired. If UFC comes to me and says we would love for you to fight Colby Covington, then show me the money. I don’t shy away from anybody. Anybody can get it for the right price.

@dad: When are you fighting Jake Paul?

In order for that to happen, they gotta come with a check with at least eight zeros on it, and of course, it has to be appealing to Dana White. I’m still under contract with the UFC, so if it’s appealing to UFC and appealing to me, then let’s make it happen. We could fight next month, next week.

@Antoniorocco16: What is something that keeps you motivated?

Failure keeps me motivated. The fear of failure for me is greater than the thrill of winning.

@LukeBR: What goes through your head the night before a fight when you’re trying to fall asleep?

“Oh man, I made it.” A lot of people see us perform, but they don’t understand the battle we do just to make it to that point. People literally look like they’re dying at weigh-ins. That night as I’m replenishing, I’m thinking that night “thank you, Lord, we made it.”

@gons: If you could do anything different during your career, would you change anything?

No. I wouldn’t change anything because I wouldn’t be in this position I’m in now. I think it’s perfect because you learn from everything.

@fitchkarma66: If you had to participate in a different sport what would it be?

I should have listened to my dad and played baseball. You see the contracts these guys are getting?! Baseball is still physically demanding, but I would take baseball for sure.

@6_transplant: What is the best way for a young fighter to get up and running?

Just find a wrestling gym, start with that. It’s the best fundamental, the best base to have going into something like this. Two-thirds of any fight ends up on the ground, so 67 percent of the fight you’re in control. I would say go to a wrestling gym or start there.

@BR_Betting Do you ever pay attention to big bets placed on you or gain any confidence knowing someone is trusting you with their money?

They’re not gonna split that with me, so no. A lot of people say “I won so much money on you” and I say, “We gotta split that then!” My goal is to go out there and continue my legacy, write my book.

@kingkush24: Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes?

They’re two different restaurants. Respectfully in their own rights, I’ll take the Chick-fil-A regular sandwich all day. But if we’re talking spicy chicken sandwich? Popeyes all day.

@krissbrown21: What is the hardest part of weight cutting?

The mental fortitude that it takes. You get to a certain point, a certain threshold where your body tells you I don’t want to keep doing this. To push through that goal and get to the weight, it teaches you you’re extremely mentally strong and that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

@marfer: What is your favorite guilty pleasure meal?

I’m a big fan of carbs. I would say carbs—I have never been a big sweet tooth guy. The older I’m getting, the more chocolate chip cookies are looking appealing, though.

@VaughnViktorr: Your top 5 UFC fighters of all time?

Jon Jones, GSP, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Randy Couture, Francis Ngannou

@tauseefkhan: What are your plans after you’re done fighting?

I’ve started learning the market—the exchange. Real estate—learning how to invest in something and watch it grow. I want to get in front of the camera too—learn how to do it fake since I’ve been doing it for real.

@Canada1: Who is the one guy in UFC history you might lose to or have problems with?

I don’t think anybody, but the guys that would pose some type of problem would be Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rashad Evans because of his style, and of course Jon Jones with an 83-inch reach. That guy can basically jab you from South Dakota.

@ahmedquared: Could you see a future in commentary for yourself?

Absolutely. I’ve done some of it so far. If it makes sense after I’m done, then absolutely for sure.

Rapid Fire

A fun fact people usually don’t know about you is _____

I would be a marriage counselor if I didn’t fight.

Next place you want to travel?


Favorite movie? 

American Gangster.

What is something you can’t do?

Beat someone up on the street