Usman Nearly Retired Prior To UFC 245
Kamaru Usman is set to headline the UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year at UFC 245 on December 14th, but just around this time last year, the current UFC welterweight champion nearly walked away from the sport.
“I honestly thought about quitting fighting. Because there were moments where I couldn’t get a fight. I couldn’t get guys to fight me because no one, guys really didn’t want to take the gamble by fighting me,” said Usman to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter. “You got all of these top 10 guys, top 15, and then you got a big shark that will eat up all of you guys, that is circling the waters around you guys. But nobody wanted to let me in the party,” he added.
“Everyone makes up a different excuse, ‘He needs to beat someone in the top 10 first.’ Or, ‘He’s not a good fighter, he’s boring.’ Everybody’s making all these different excuses because they know that I’m the big dog outside of this club. The top 10 top 15. And once I got in there, it was just a hassle to get these guys to fight, because they know what would happen: I would dominate them and eventually I would be the welterweight champion of the world, which is where I am at right now.”
“I was very close. Before I got the Santiago Ponzinibbio fight, which ended up not fighting,” Usman said of a potential retirement. “I was very close. I had like maybe five, actually, six or seven months of just sitting there trying to get somebody to fight me,” he said. “The organization kept saying, ‘That guy turned it down, that guy turned it down.’ So I was just like, there is no point.”
“And part of that is the opponent that I’m fighting (Colby Covington). He has been offered to me several times, four times to be exact, and he’s turned them all down. So this is part of what contributed to my frustration at that point. So I was like, I should just walk.”
Initial Report: MMA Mania