The long-awaited showdown between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and top contender Gilbert Burns is finally here, airing tomorrow, February 13th.
33-year-old Nigerian-born, Texas-raised Usman has been unbeatable since 2013, with a 16-fight win streak. As one of the best fighters on the UFC roster since his debut, he has remained undefeated and captured the welterweight crown.
Over the course of a few weeks, we spoke to Usman from training camp in Denver, where he’s been preparing for UFC 258 with coach Trevor Wittman. The “Nigerian Nightmare” broke down his full regimen for us, from his fueling plan to his training, including exclusive footage of some simple basics any guy can do (yes, even you) to get in fighting shape.
“We try to make the regimen more endurance based, all the while keeping my strength and my power as well. It’s been working great.”
“I’m such a muscular fighter, and we all know muscular guys require a bit more—a lot of them don’t have very good endurance because they carry so much more muscle. So I’m kind of the outlier to where I want to have endurance while carrying that much muscle.”
“I had some stem cell stuff done a couple months back and one of the restrictions is coffee. I’ve kind of broken that.”
“The one thing that’s a bummer for me is that I have a head-clock, and I’ve had one since high school. So I’m up at 6:30am every day, even a little before that. I’m always up. It doesn’t matter if I go to bed at 5am, I’m up at 6:30am.”
“The last three fights I’ve trained for, my opponents have been similar guys— to where I needed to train the same way and diet the same way. So that’s a good thing.”
“The equipment I like to use are resistance bands. They work great. You can get a full, long workout just with those.”
Altitude vs Sea Level
“I’m training in Denver because my coach is here. So I’m training at altitude. It’s a little tougher for the body to be able to recover, because you don’t have as many red blood cells, so the body is working overtime to try to compensate. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt. If the fight is at altitude, and he’s not trained like I am here, at altitude, then it is a huge advantage. If I come down and fight at sea level, it doesn’t make as much of a difference.
HIGH CARB DIET
“My plan is geared towards being able to run off of carbs and that high carbohydrate-based diet so I can go for a long time, kind of like a marathon fighter. Where at the same time, I can keep my muscle and my strength.”
Training with Kamaru Usman
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The Nigerian Nightmare
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