Nigerrian-born-American professional mixed martial artist Kamaru Usman has dismissed injury rumours ahead of his much anticipated UFC 294 about against Khamzat Chimaev on Saturday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The 36-year-old- former welterweight champion claims he did not get injured during the UFC 294 open workouts earlier this week in Abu Dhabi, despite a video on social media that went viral that appeared to be an awkward landing when ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ scooped and slammed his training partner, UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje.
Usman is replacing the injured Paulo Costa, who was bounced from the October 21 fight card in Abu Dhabi after contracting a nasty elbow infection.
The Nigerian Nightmare has clarified, criticizing the media for speculating false news.
The 185-pound former UFC welterweight champion took to his YouTube to deny the rumour noting that he is battle-ready for his middleweight debut against Chimaev on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
“Guys, this is crazy,” the former welterweight champion said on YouTube. “Seeing the tweet, it shows how crazy people just jump on news and media and, ‘Oh, that must be true. That person said that! That person said that!’ Whoever started it, whoever said they heard or saw: How could you have possibly heard what I said when it’s me and Justin, on a stage, in front of thousands of people in a mall? Were you next to us where you heard what I was saying?”
“How stupid. Just dumb. If my knee was hurt, why would I get up and (continue) hitting mitts?” Usman continued. “Oh my God. People believe anything you put on the internet. Anything. Any (expletive) thing. Whoever that was, stop it. Stop with the clickbait. (I) did not say that. I’m fine. Dummies: I’m fine.”
Usman has lost his last two fights, where he lost his welterweight title to Leon Edwards in a shock upset in 2022 before losing a majority decision in the rematch earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Chimaev hasn’t competed since UFC 279 last September, where he made quick work of Kevin Holland in a last-minute matchup after missing 7.5 pounds for a clash against Nate Diaz.