Usman DENIES injuring himself in open workouts ahead of UFC 294

Kamaru Usman DENIES injuring himself in open workouts ahead of UFC 294, with ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ insisting he did not say ‘something popped’ in footage of him taking down Justin Gaethje

  • Kamaru Usman comes into the fight with Khamzat Chimaev on short notice
  • Some fans thought they saw him admit to injuring himself in open workouts 
  • But Usman denies saying ‘something popped’ as he grappled with Justin Gaethje

Kamaru Usman has flatly denied injuring himself during open workouts ahead of UFC 294 after fans suggested he said: ‘Something popped’. 

The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ was seen grappling with Justin Gaethje in front of media before taking him down, saying something and ending the session shortly after. 

Usman, who has had various issues with his knees in the past, was suggested to have said ‘something popped’, but he denied that on social media. 

The former welterweight champion said: ‘This is why no one reads this sh***y ass blog. 

‘At what point while I was lightly drilling did you hear me say that to Justin. Stop with the clickbait you idiots.’

Gaethje added: ‘He said ‘I’m good’ or something like that. I thought he hit his head on the mat. I asked if he hit his head in this clip when we got up and he said no.’

Justin Gaethje was taken down by Kamaru Usman during their open workout

Usman denied saying ‘something popped’ shortly before the pair ended the session

Fans will be desperate for Usman to be fighting fit ahead of Saturday’s mouthwatering co-main event. 

His match-up against undefeated Chimaev is widely thought to be more interesting than the original match-up between the Chechen-born Swede and Paulo Costa. 

The Brazilian pulled out injured after suffering a nasty infection to his elbow, the gruesome pictures of which he shared online. 

There was no clear indication from the footage that Usman’s knee gave out after taking Gaethje down to the mat. 

The pair were enjoying a light session for the cameras and applauded those surrounding the elevated stage before making an exit shortly after the supposed incident occurred. 

Usman is in the unfamiliar position of coming into the fight having lost two back-to-back. 

Usman lost twice against Leon Edwards and is looking to bounce back in Abu Dhabi  

Khamzat Chimaev has been out of action since last year but is favourite to beat Usman

Leon Edwards took his crown and then defended it in the London trilogy bout, prompting this short notice move up to middleweight for Usman. 

He believes he is in line for a title shot at Sean Strickland if he manages to find a way past Chimaev, who is regarded as one of the most dangerous up and coming fighters in the sport. 

The 36-year-old said: ‘He’s very skilled. He’s strong, he’s big, he’s fast, he can wrestle, he can grapple, he can strike. 

‘He has everything – but so do I. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. Everybody feels invincible until someone comes in and pokes that balloon.

‘It’s a built-in,’ Usman said of a potential title shot. 

‘Sean Strickland’s the champion. I’ve already taken care of him. Not to say he’s not better – he is. 

‘But I’ve got a mountain in front of me that I need to scale and climb, so we’ll get through that first and then we’ll worry about what’s next.’

Usman is stepping up on short notice and thinks a win secures a middleweight title shot

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