As Usman was coming up the welterweight ranks, he was marked as a decision machine and a boring fighter who used his wrestling to win fights. Until he got the title shot, seven of his nine fights went the distance and was booed in a few of them. Against Rafael dos Anjos and to win the title against Tyron Woodley, he used a wrestling-heavy gameplan to win, which caused his rival, Colby Covington, to call him “Snoozeman”, which caught on with the fans.
However, recently, Usman has turned a notch and has been must-see TV. In his first title defense, he had a Fight of the Year candidate with Colby Covington. On short notice, he had a lackluster scrap against Jorge Masvidal, but in his past two fights against Burns and Masvidal, they were thoroughly entertaining.
After Usman scored a second-round KO win over Masvidal at UFC 261, Dana White wants to dispel any thought that the welterweight champ is boring.
“Yeah, listen, I think we can all agree: No matter how you feel, the guy’s getting booed in there tonight. He’s one of the best ever, and he’s on his way to probably being the greatest of all time,” Dana White said at the UFC 261 post-fight press conference. “I mean, the guy is an absolute stud. He looks better every time he comes out. These people talk about him being boring, you’re an idiot. You’re an idiot if you think this guy’s boring. He hasn’t been in a boring fight in a while. He changed after he did that whole, ‘I only gave 30% tonight’ thing. He’s been a different human being ever since the RDA fight.”
There is no question Usman has been more entertaining recently as has improved his standup under Trevor Wittman. His next couple of fights also seem like they will be entertaining due to the fact it seems likely he will rematch Covington, Edwards, and possibly fight Stephen Thompson.
Do you think Kamaru Usman is an entertaining fighter?