30-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 13-1-0
May 21, 2018 Kamaru Usman News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Usman stated that he believes he broke both of his hands following his UFC Chile victory over Demian Maia on Saturday, MMAFighting.com reports.
Usman emerged victorious against his toughest opponent to date, but the fight was far from the most exciting of the evening, and these potential injuries may serve as a roadblock in his journey up the welterweight rankings. We'll know more about the specifics when medical suspensions are officially released, but Usman believes he broke his right hand in the second round, and his left hand in the third. Should that statement hold true, it would make his five-round, unanimous decision victory all the more impressive, but likely result in a long layoff before his next matchup. Usman may not always rack up impressive finishes, but he certainly warrants a top-five opponent in his next fight.
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Fantasy AnalysisUsman was able to follow the same game plan as Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington. That recipe is stop Maia's takedowns, avoid fighting on the ground at all costs and land just enough strikes to take the decision. After previously calling out Maia and saying that he is the best ground fighter in the world. Usman decided to throw lackluster strikes for five rounds against the ground ace. It got the job done, but the fight was not very inspiring. Usman continues to push forward and move up in the welterweight division. However, his fans were likely hoping for a better performance.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman was originally scheduled to throw down with Santiago Ponzinibbio, who ultimately was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury. The promotion seemed to be having a difficult time finding a replacement for the young and dangerous Usman, but UFC veteran and submission specialist Demiam Maia answered the call. Usman has never been taken down in seven UFC fights, and will need to keep that streak going in order to avoid the dangerous jiu-jitsu of Maia.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman was originally scheduled to face Santiago Ponzinibbio at the event, but Ponzinibbio was forced to withdraw over the weekend due to a hand injury. The UFC still hopes to keep one of their most electrifying young prospects in the main event, but finding an opponent for a fighter as dangerous as Usman is easier said than done, especially on short notice.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman has been aggressively campaigning for a matchup against a ranked welterweight, and the promotion will finally grant his wish, pinning him against the No. 10 contender. One of the hottest 170-pounders on the roster, "The Nigerian Nightmare" has emerged victorious in all seven of his UFC bouts. Many of those wins have come against overmatched competition, as Usman won't be shy to tell you about how the division's elite have been evading him. Usman hasn't always been the most exciting fighter to watch, as he typically uses his wrestling to wear down opponents in long, grinding fights. In fact, five of those seven wins have been via unanimous decision. It would be wise to once again lean on wrestling against Ponzinibbio, who sports just a 57 percent takedown defense. That said, Usman needs to start winning in style if he hopes to gain a higher-profile fight and eventually get a title shot. Standing and trading with Ponzinibbio is always dangerous, but moving upward might require doing just that.
Fantasy AnalysisIn his previous fight against Sergio Moraes, Usman showed off improve striking. For this fight, he went back to his bread and butter. He took Meek down multiple times and ground the fight away on the ground. Usman is dominant when he is able to score takedowns. However, he will eventually end up in a fight where he can't score takedowns. Then again, there are not very many fighters in the division who can stay on their feet against a takedown artist like him. He improved to 12-1 overall with this decision victory.
Fantasy AnalysisOriginally scheduled to throw down at UFC 219 on Dec. 30, it was reported last week that Usman and Meek would instead square off at UFC 220 on Jan. 20. Now, that fight will get moved up a week to help bolster a card headlined by Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman and Meek were originally scheduled to throw down on Dec. 30 in the last pay-per-view card of 2017, but due to visa issues on Meek's end, the fight needed to be pushed back. Fortunately for fight fans, they will not be deprived of this intriguing matchup of two up-and-comers in the promotion. Usman is 6-0 since joining the UFC, and despite his athleticism and amazing potential, the one critique was that he hasn't been racking up stoppages. He had won four consecutive unanimous decisions, but finally showed off his finishing ability in September when he dropped Sergio Moraes in the first round. Should he finish Meek, and should said finish occur in impressive fashion, look for "The Nigerian Nightmare" to earn a booking against a top-10 opponent his next time out.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman is fresh off a domination victory versus Sergio Moraes in Pittsburgh on Sept. 16. The 29-year-old defeated Moraes in Round 1 of that bout via KO (punch) and comes into UFC 219 with an unblemished 6-0 record in the UFC. His opponent has competed just once with the promotion, besting Jordan Mein last December, but has been recovering from an undisclosed injury over the summer. Overall, Usman is 11-1 and should be going up against the top competition in the organization at this point in his career.
Fantasy AnalysisAlright, how about giving Usman a high-level opponent for a change? He overwhelmed an overmatched Moraes from the second the opening bell rang. The "Nigerian Nightmare" is one of the scariest and most underrated fighters on the entire UFC roster. His athletic ability and explosiveness is truly frightening. Usman is now 6-0 in the UFC and he has won all six of his fights overwhelmingly. Given what we have seen from him lately, it may not be a stretch to think that Usman is a top-five welterweight at this point. The guy is scary good.
Fantasy AnalysisThere is no way in the world that there are 10 welterweight fighters in the UFC who are better than Usman. Over the course of the 15-minute bout, Usman won the total strike battle by a count of 117-30, mixed in a pair of takedowns and scored nearly two full rounds (8:08) worth of control time. Usman's inability to finish fights is a concern moving forward, but there are very few 170 pounders who can handle his size and speed. Bigger fights are on the horizon for the surging Blackzilians product.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's probably safe to say that there aren't too many fighters on the UFC roster clamoring to get into the ring with that animal. After a fairly even Round 1, Usman dominated the final ten minutes. He outstruck Alves by a count of 64-1 in Round 3 and 129-26 over the course of the contest. Alves is a strong opponent, but the Nigerian Nightmare made him look like an amateur, particularly over the final two rounds. The 29-year-old Usman is now 4-0 in the UFC and he is yet to be properly challenged.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman will put his 3-0 UFC record on the line against Alves, a Brazilian that was dealt his first professional loss in May. Five of Usman's eight professional victories have ended in a KO/TKO stoppage, but to put himself in a position to earn a knockout, he'll need to prepare himself to defend the dangerous guillotine choke of Alves.
Fantasy AnalysisUsman might be the strongest welterweight on the UFC roster. He connect on 155 of 195 total strikes on Saturday and he also landed 5-9 takedown attempts. The end result was 13:04 worth of control time and as dominant a three-round victory as you will ever see. Usman has now racked up 17 takedowns in his first three UFC fights. Usman has limited MMA experience at age-29, but he is an elite athlete and a fighter to keep an eye on in the UFC's 170-pound division.
Fantasy AnalysisThis was the finale of The Ultimate Fighter season. Usman earned $300,000 for the Blackzilians with his victory on Sunday. He was the far better of the two fighters, steamrolling Hassan before earning the submission victory. The most impressive aspect of Usman's game was clearly his wrestling. He seemingly was able to throw Hassan around at will. He's a legitimate prospect.