UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has decided to move gyms ahead of his upcoming fight against Gilbert Burns. Both Usman and Burns had been under the tutelage of Henri Hooft at Sanford MMA. The pair will now clash in the UFC 251 main event and Usman has decided it’s best he prepares for the fight with a new team.
Speaking to ESPN the welterweight king explained why he has decided to head to Denver and train under Trevor Wittman and work with the likes of Justin Gaethje and Drew Dober, he said.
“Florida was the base for a long time, but you grow from there. We always had a ton of guys, some of the best training partners out there and some great coaches.
“But I wanted a little more specific attention at this point in my career, someone to be able to say, ‘You’re going to come in at this time and work on this particular skill.’ It’s very tough to do that when there are 40 to 50 guys in the room with you who also need to get attention.”
“I think eventually I would have changed things up anyway,” Usman said. “We had a lot of welterweights at that gym. At some point, when you’re training with these guys on a daily basis and you’re the champion of the world, these guys know you in and out and if they get the better of you one day, they’re licking their chops thinking it’s their time. A little separation from that is good. It keeps that element of surprise, because these guys feel like they know you.
“One thing I firmly believe is that it’s my work. You can be with a great coach, but if you’re not putting the effort in, that coach isn’t going to help you win. That coach isn’t going to get in and fight for you. I know I put the work in.”
Do you think Kamaru Usman has made the right call in changing teams?