Kamaru Usman found a sense of relief in his title loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 278.
The longtime dominant welterweight champion finally got dethroned with a vicious kick to the head from Edwards in the last minute of the fight. Usman was on the verge of tying Anderson Silva’s record of most consecutive wins in the promotion but ultimately failed to stay undefeated.
Kamaru Usman says he was never attached to the title
In a recent appearance on the popular podcast show, Joe Rogan Experience, Kamaru Usman shared that he was not attached to the title, and went into each bout with the mindset of a challenger to stay offensive.
“It’s weird to really explain, but you get to a certain point where people start putting expectations in you. They’re like, ‘oh yeah, you’re gonna do this, you’re gonna do that, yeah, you’re this, you’re that’, to where I didn’t get into it for all of that. I was never attached to the title.
“As weird as that sounds, I didn’t. I wasn’t attached to it… In my head, each and every time, I was fighting for that title, defending that belt. I was a contender in my head, I felt like that.
“Everyone started putting expectations like, ‘you’re about to break this record. I didn’t even know what Anderson Silva’s record was before last fight where everyone started saying, ‘oh yeah, you’re about to break Anderson Silva’s record or you’re about to tie this.’ I don’t care, I don’t give a sh*t.”
Usman was relieved after the loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 278
He further shared that he felt a sense of relief from the expectations that others had set.
“Yeah, it was almost like a relief of expectations of everyone’s pressure of ‘oh yeah, you’re the GOAT this, GOAT that.’ That’s relative. It’s hard to argue that situation because Georges St-Pierre was the greatest in his era, with the opposition he had to deal with, he was the greatest, hands down.
“When GSP kinda moved aside, Woodley was that guy. Then, Robbie had a stint there when Robbie was that guy. And Pat Milotich had a stint when he was that guy. So did Matt Hughes. So to say, ‘that guy is the GOAT,’ that’s relative because styles make fights.”
A trilogy outing between Usman and Edwards would be in the works, as suggested by UFC president Dana White following the shocking upset.